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Biden's defense chief urged Israel to reduce civilian harm in Gaza

Published 12/18/2023, 12:16 PM
Updated 12/18/2023, 12:59 PM
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin at a news conference in Riga, Latvia on August 10, 2022. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins/File Photo

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said he urged Israel to protect civilians caught in the war in Gaza and discussed a transition from major combat to lower intensity warfare during a meeting with his Israeli counterpart on Monday.

"In any campaign, there will be phases," Austin told a news conference, saying that required detailed, thoughtful planning and that he would not dictate timelines.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin at a news conference in Riga, Latvia on August 10, 2022. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins/File Photo

He said he had discussed with Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant how to reduce harm to civilians on the battlefield.

"We will also continue to urge the protection of civilians during conflict and to increase the flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza," Austin said.

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