Former President Obama has warned that any Israeli military strategy that ignores the danger to civilians “could ultimately backfire”.
In a statement posted on Medium, Obama said that Israel has a right to defend its citizens against the violence perpetrated by the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, and he fully supports President Biden’s call for the United States to support Israel in going after Hamas, dismantling its military capabilities, and facilitating the safe return of hundreds of hostages to their families.
Fox News reported on Tuesday, October 24, that Obama cautioned the world was watching closely as events in the region unfold, and any Israeli military strategy that ignores the human costs could ultimately backfire.
He noted that thousands of Palestinians have already been killed in the bombing of Gaza, many of them children, and hundreds of thousands have been forced from their homes.
Obama also criticized the Israeli government’s decision to cut off food, water, and electricity to a captive civilian population, saying that it threatens not only to worsen a growing humanitarian crisis but could further harden Palestinian attitudes for generations, erode global support for Israel, play into the hands of Israel’s enemies, and undermine long-term efforts to achieve peace and stability in the region.
Obama’s statement comes amid escalating violence in the Middle East, with Israel heavily bombarding Gaza with air strikes since Hamas’ Oct. 7 assault on Israel left over 1,400 people dead.
While Obama condemned Hamas’ attack and reiterated his support for Israel’s right to defend itself, he also cautioned about the risks to civilians in such war.
In his statement, Obama called for Israel to follow “a strategy that can incapacitate Hamas while minimizing further civilian casualties”.
He emphasized that Israel’s military strategy must abide by international law, including those laws that seek to avoid, to every extent possible, the death or suffering of civilian populations.
Obama’s statement has been widely reported in the media, with outlets such as Reuters, CNBC, and Yahoo News covering his remarks.
The former president’s comments have drawn attention to the ongoing conflict in the Middle East and the need for all parties to prioritize the safety and well-being of civilians.