CNN’s Jake Tapper confronted National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan over reported brutalities against civilians in Gaza versus those in Ukraine during a Sunday segment of “State of the Union.”
Tapper pointed to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken lamenting Russian President Vladimir Putin in November 2022 for cutting off heat, electricity and water supplies to Ukrainians. Civilians living in the Gaza Strip have reportedly lost access to these needs after Israel ordered a “complete siege” on the Palestinian enclave in response to the surprise Oct. 7 terror attack by Hamas.
“Now look, Israel is not Russia, Gaza is not Ukraine, it’s a different situation. But cutting off supplies, cutting off heat, cutting off water to civilians, what’s the difference?” Tapper asked Sullivan.
“Well, first, thank you for saying that Israel is not Russia because Israel is not Russia,” Sullivan began. “Secondly— ”
“But, civilians are civilians, Jake. Civilians are civilians,” Tapper interjected.
Sullivan claimed Israelis reportedly informed him that they had returned water access to civilians in southern Gaza. Sullivan went on to say the United States is committed to working with Israel, the United Nations and other allies to protect civilians in Gaza. (RELATED: ‘Bodies Cut In Half’: Witnesses Describe ‘Nightmare’ Scenes In Wake Of Hamas Terrorist Attack)
“Yes, absolutely they are. They deserve, as I said before, access to water and medicine and food, and we are working actively to ensure that that happens and I can tell you this morning, Jake, that I have been in touch with my Israeli counterparts just within the last hour, who report to me that they have in fact turned the water pipe back on in southern Gaza,” Sullivan said.
“That has been the subject of discussion over the course of the past few days,” Sullivan continued. “The United States is gonna continue working with Israel, with the U.N., with Egypt, with Jordan and with a lot of the groups on the ground to make sure that innocent Palestinians get access to those basic necessities and are protected from bombardment because they deserve that right: the right to those necessities and the right to safety and security every bit as much as Ukrainian civilians do, or civilians anywhere do.”
Israel’s siege on Gaza led to the only existing power station in Gaza to cease working Wednesday after it ran out of needed fuel, CNN reported. Hospitals, bakeries and other essential places in Gaza are set to completely run out of fuel and lead to “catastrophic” conditions, leading many to shut down, according to the outlet.
The U.N. World Food Programme warned it is “running out of supplies” to provide food and ingredients to people in Gaza, CNN reported.
Tapper pressed Sullivan on the administration allegedly not negotiating with Israel to allow civilians to have access to basic needs.
“But you’re not telling the Israelis to let the Palestinian hospitals have power,” Tapper said.
“Our position is that hospitals should be able to function, hospitals should not be targeted, people should be able to get access to life-saving medical care,” Sullivan answered. “We don’t qualify these statements, we don’t say that there’s some kind of caveat to them. These are simple, clear, declarative statements. It is our position that’s consistent with the law of armed conflict, the law of war. It’s consistent with our view as we have presented it.”
Hamas’ attack on Israel has left at least 1,300 people dead, including 29 Americans, according to CNN. Hamas terrorists have reportedly murdered, raped and tortured innocent civilians in Israel since the relentless attack. Several reports and images claim terrorists slaughtered at least 40 babies last week, with some reportedly being decapitated. Other images have shown dead Israeli adults and children charred after apparently being burned alive.