The White House believes that Israel is making efforts to reduce the number of civilian casualties in Gaza

John Kirby / Photo EPA

The White House announced today that Israel is "making efforts" to reduce the number of civilian casualties in Gaza since the conflict resumed after a seven-day ceasefire, as calls from the international community for the protection of Palestinian civilians intensified.

- We believe that they were receptive to our messages to minimize civilian casualties. In our conversations with them, they said that they agree that reducing civilian casualties and minimizing damage to civilian infrastructure is important to them, that they understand that - White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told NBC .

According to Kirby, the Israeli military continued its offensive in northern Gaza "in a smaller and more precise way," noting that Israel also released an online map in the past two days showing where civilians were able to flee the fighting and find shelter.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin warned yesterday that Israel risks "strategic defeat" in Gaza if it does not do more to protect civilians.

US Vice President Kamala Harris, in a statement to journalists at the climate conference in Dubai, said that Israel has the right to defend itself, but it is important how it does so.

– The United States is unequivocal: international humanitarian law must be respected. Too many innocent Palestinians have been killed. "Honestly, the scale of civilian suffering and the images and videos coming out of Gaza are overwhelming," Harris said.

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