Israeli troops operating against Hamas inside the crowded Gaza Strip are being killed and wounded in numbers rarely seen because of their efforts to separate combatants from civilians, California Republican House candidate Elan Carr told Newsmax TV
The 32 soldiers reported killed in eight days of ground warfare represents "a very high number of IDF [Israeli Defense Forces] casualties," Los Angeles prosecutor and Iraq war veteran Carr told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner.
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But international condemnation of the latest violence between Israel and Hamas — the Palestinian militants who control Gaza — has fallen hardest on Israel, critics say.
The death toll among Palestinians over 17 days of air strikes and ground combat is nearing 700, and the majority of those killed have been civilians.
While United Nations officials criticized Hamas for storing rockets in a U.N.-operated school in Gaza, the top U.N. human rights officer said on Wednesday that Israel could face a war crimes inquiry
for indiscriminately targeting civilians.
Carr called the dueling statements "typical U.N. evenhandedness" and "utter nonsense" as Hamas strikes at Israel from civilian areas, and Israel attempts to pinpoint the militants' rocket launch sites and underground tunnels.
"Is sending infantrymen house to house, door to door, in very close quarters in a guerilla war — which is what it is in Gaza— especially to avoid collateral damage," said Carr. "Israel is suffering casualties because it's trying to discriminate and avoid having civilians lose their lives or civilian property be destroyed."
Carr said there needs to be more human rights scrutiny of Hamas for "firing rockets into Israeli cities, targeting civilians … and then using its own civilians as human shields."
"This is a war crime by the hour that they're committing, and it's appalling, " he said. "And they are responsible for the loss of Palestinian life on their side."
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