Defense Secretary Austin Shoots Down Claims Of Genocide In Gaza
Lloyd Austin, US secretary of defense, during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in Washington, DC, US, on Tuesday, April 9, 2024.
(Tierney L. Cross/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

During a Senate hearing on Tuesday, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin pushed back against claims of a genocide being committed in Gaza, where Israel is fighting Hamas terrorists.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) asked Austin to give a response to activists, some of whom have accused the defense secretary himself of facilitating genocide, after he testified that Hamas has been committing war crimes by using civilians as human shields.

“We don’t have any evidence of genocide being created,” Austin said. When pressed to address whether Israel specifically is committing genocide, he added, “We don’t have evidence of that, to my knowledge.”

Cotton credited Austin with doing “better” than CIA Director William Burns and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines when they testified last month. When asked if Israel was “exterminating” the Palestinians, neither Burns nor Haines answered the question directly.

Israeli forces have been fighting Hamas in the Gaza Strip for more than six months after Hamas launched an attack on Israel in October that killed roughly 1,200 people. Some on the Left, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), claim the war has escalated to the point of genocide.


Austin stressed that the United States has been “committed to help assist Israel in defending its territory and its people by providing security assistance.” The defense secretary also said he “absolutely” denied accusations that he personally has facilitated genocide.

The United States continues to supply weapons to Israel, but the White House announced last week that President Joe Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that further U.S. assistance would depend on steps taken to protect aid workers and civilians.

In the face of growing pushback from Biden over the campaign, as well as a demand by the United Nations for a ceasefire, Netanyahu said on Sunday there would be no ceasefire until all the remaining hostages are free.

Austin said in a post to X on Monday that he spoke with Israeli Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant to discuss the “urgent need” to improve humanitarian assistance delivery to Gaza and protect aid workers. The secretary also said he “affirmed U.S. support to Israel in the face of Iranian threats.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Defense Secretary Austin Shoots Down Claims Of Genocide In Gaza