WASHINGTON (WTNH) — While Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said that Israel “has a right and an obligation” to defend its citizens from Hamas’ attacks, the current number of Palestinian casualties is “unacceptable and unsustainable.”
Murphy made his comments on Thursday on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
“The Hamas terrorists who planned and executed those attacks must be held accountable, and the ability of Hamas to carry out similar attacks in the future must be eliminated,” he wrote. “It’s time for Israel’s friends to recognize that the current operational approach is causing an unacceptable level of civilian harm and does not appear likely to achieve the goal of permanently ending the threat from Hamas. As we have learned from America’s own counterterrorism campaigns, disproportionately large numbers of civilian casualties come with a moral cost, but also a strategic cost, as terrorist groups feed off of the grievances caused by civilian harm.”
Since Oct. 7, about 1,400 people have died in Israel from Hamas’ attacks, including Americans. The Palestinian death toll from Israel’s retaliatory attacks on Gaza have reached more than 8,000, according to the Associated Press.
“I share Israel’s desire to destroy the threat from Hamas,” Murphy wrote. “And I know Israel cares about the impact of this war on innocent Palestinians, even as they track Hamas’s hideouts inside and below mosques, apartment buildings, and schools. But the way in which the current campaign is being waged — most recently evidenced by the terribly high human cost of the strikes on the Jabalya refugee camp — suggests that they have not struck the right balance between military necessity and proportionality.”
Murphy called on Israel to take “a more deliberate and proportionate counterterrorism campaign, surgically targeting Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders and terrorist infrastructure while more highly prioritizing the safety of civilians in accordance with the law of armed conflict.”
He continued on to write that “This does not mean that Israel should stop fighting Hamas, but it must take concrete steps to end the current widespread harm to innocent people and children inside Gaza.”
On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives approached a $14.3 billion aid package to Israel. It now goes to the Senate.