Defense Secretary: No Evidence of Genocide in Gaza

Lloyd Austin appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2024 12:34 PM CDT
Defense Secretary: No Evidence of Genocide in Gaza
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin testifies before Senate Committee on Armed Services during a hearing on Department of Defense Budget Request for Fiscal Year 2025 and the Future Years Defense Program on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 9, 2024.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

The US has seen no indication that Israel has committed genocide in Gaza, according to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. "We don't have any evidence of genocide being created," Austin said Tuesday during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. When pressed by Sen. Tom Cotton on whether that means Israel is not committing genocide in Gaza, NBC News reports Austin repeated, "We don't have evidence of that." Axios reports other countries have accused Israel of genocide against Palestinians, citing restrictions on humanitarian aid, civilian deaths, and massive displacement.

Sen. Roger Wicker then asked the reverse: whether the Oct. 7 attack on Israel by Hamas constituted genocide. Austin responded by calling it a "horrific terrorist attack" and "certainly ... a war crime." Politico notes Austin's testimony was at times interrupted by protesters. "Stop the genocide," they said, while raising hands stained red into the air, reports the AP.

  • Context from the AP: "Austin and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. CQ Brown Jr. were testifying on Capitol Hill about the Pentagon's $850 billion budget for 2025. But the hearing offered the first chance for lawmakers on both sides to question the Pentagon's top civilian and military leadership on the administration's Israel strategy following Tel Aviv's deadly strike on World Central Kitchen humanitarian aid workers in Gaza."
(More Israel-Hamas war stories.)

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