News & Commentary

State Dept won’t say if ITV footage of IDF shooting unarmed civilian in Gaza is a ‘potential war crime’

At a press briefing on Wednesday, the US State Department’s deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel refused to say whether footage showing the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) shooting an unarmed civilian in Gaza who was in a small group waving a white flag “potentially represents a war crime.”


The footage was shot by ITV News, and it was an ITV reporter, Robert Moore, who raised the question.

As a follow-up, Moore asked whether the State Department would urge and support an “Israeli investigation of what happened in that video.”

“That is for the IDF to undertake and determine based on the circumstances of that situation,” said Patel.

He went on to say moments later that “this footage just arised (sic) earlier this morning, so I don’t have any specifics of our diplomatic conversations around it.”

“Well how about the footage that arose last week, and the week before, and the week before, and the week before, and the week before, where there have been [similar] instances,” asked AP reporter Matt Lee. “Have you EVER gotten a response from the Israelis?”

“I’m not gonna speak to private diplomatic conversations, Matt.”

Patel was also asked about Israel’s tank attack on a UN refugee shelter in Khan Yunis on Wednesday, which reportedly killed at least nine people and injured 75 more.

While he said that the State Department finds the attack “incredibly concerning” and that they “deplore” it, he refused to give a direct answer to questions about whether they’ve “asked the Israelis to look into this,” or plan to do so.

“I’m not gonna read at every single conversation that we have with the Israelis,” Patel said.

“I don’t think that you’re being asked about every single [one],” said AP reporter Matt Lee. “You’ve been asked twice here in the last three minutes about two specific incidents.”

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