Skip to main content

US defense chief: 'We don't have any evidence' Israel is committing genocide in Gaza

Lloyd Austin's statement came just weeks after the State Department said it had found no evidence of the Israeli military violating the law of war in Gaza, despite extensive allegations to the contrary by UN officials and international aid groups.
Protesters interrupt Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin as he testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on April 09, 2024 in Washington, DC. Austin was testifying about the Biden Administration's FY2025 budget request for the Pentagon, which includes supplemental funding for Israel, Ukraine, Taiwan and other allies. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has no evidence that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told Senate lawmakers on Tuesday, as pressure mounts on the Biden administration to curtail arms transfers to Israel over its forces’ conduct in the war.

“We don’t have any evidence of genocide being [committed],” Austin replied to Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

Why it matters: Austin’s comments came amid deepening global outcry over the Israeli campaign’s widespread killing of civilians and destruction of infrastructure in Gaza.

Yesterday, video surfaced of a senior member of the committee, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), saying she believes the UN’s International Court of Justice (ICJ) possesses sufficient evidence to find that Israel’s conduct legally constitutes genocide.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.