Kristen Welker presses Biden official over Israel following international law – The Last News

Kristen Welker presses Biden official over Israel following international law

NBC’s Kristen Welker pressed deputy National Security Adviser Jonathan Finer on Sunday over whether the U.S. is confident that Israel is following international law when it comes to its operations in Gaza with the Biden administration official appearing to dodge answering the question.

Welker pointed to comments made by the Qatari prime minister who said that Israel’s actions at the al-Shifa Hospital were a “crime.” This comes almost a week after Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) revealed it was going through with an operation at the hospital, claiming that it was a base for Hamas — the militant group that launched its deadly surprise attack on Israel early last month.

When asked if the U.S. stood by Israel’s assessment that Hamas is headquartered underneath the hospital and whether they were following international law, Finer reiterated that U.S. intelligence supported that notion.

“We have been equally clear that our intelligence, US intelligence information, not just Israeli intelligence information, suggests that Hamas is used al-Shifa in an unconscionable way as a command and control facility for the planning of terrorist attacks and the execution of service attacks and continues to do,” Finer said on “Meet the Press.”

“That does not, in our view, mean that Israel should conduct airstrikes on the hospital or ground assaults on the hospital,” he added. “We’ve been equally clear about that. But Hamas has put these people in severe jeopardy by the way in which it’s conducting this war. So this is a microcosm of the real challenge associated with this entire conflict and we’ve laid out our position.”

Welker then asked again: “And are you confident Israel is following international law, Jon? Just yes or no there.”

“We are confident that it is our position that it needs to. When we have seen issues that are raised. Based on incidents on the ground we raised them privately and directly with the government of Israel –” Finer said, before Welker interjected again and they began talking over each other.

“John, let me just – so you’re saying you’re saying that Israel will –” Welker said.

“– but we’re not going in real time to play judge and jury on this question,” Finer said to which Welker again pressed him on the question of international law.

“What I can say is it is not our position, certainly my position, as a policymaker to play real time judge and jury on the question of any particular incident,” Finer said.

“When we see things that concern us, we raise them. We have done that during the course of this conflict. We will continue to do that. And again, just to restate, it is our position that all countries including Israel, including the United States, need to adhere to laws of armed conflict,” he added.

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