(Koby Gideon/GPO)
PM Netanyahu and US Secy. of Defense Lloyd Austin

Austin’s rejection came after Senator Elizabeth Warren told a mosque that the ICJ would find Israel guilty of genocide.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

While insisting on the importance of getting more aid into Gaza, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin firmly pushed back Tuesday on claims that Israel was committing genocide in the Gaza Strip.

While speaking to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Austin was frequently interrupted by protestors calling out that Israel was committing genocide.

Committee member Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) referred to the issue and the defense secretary responded, “Senator Cotton, we don’t have any evidence of genocide.”

“And I would remind everybody that what happened on October 7 was absolutely horrible,” he added, referring to the 1,200 people that Hamas fighters slaughtered and 253 taken hostage in their surprise invasion of Israel. That attack, he said, “certainly is a war crime.”

Austin’s firm rejection of the heinous accusation came just days after Senator Elizabeth Warren told a mosque audience that she believed that the International Court of Justice would find that Israel did commit genocide “and they have ample evidence to do so.”

The Massachusetts senator also sits on the Committee and was seemingly not swayed by Austin’s words, asking if America would ever “systematically choose to execute military strikes that are more likely to kill civilians, including children.”

Austin did repeat the theme several times that Israel “must address the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people…in a meaningful way,” in order to “create a lasting effect in terms of stability” in Gaza.

This was also his answer when the pro-Israel Cotton asked, “They were the victim of the attack, why should they provide aid to the aggressor? We did not provide aid to Germany and Japan during World War II.”

The Biden administration has recently been pressing Israel hard to significantly increase the amount of humanitarian aid it lets into the Gaza Strip, with officials even warning that American resupply of weapons to the Jewish state is dependent on this.

The pressure was especially turned up after the IDF accidentally killed seven aid workers in an airstrike nine days ago, mistaking them for Hamas operatives.

In response, Israel agreed to open the Erez Crossing into Gaza as well as send aid through from the Ashdod Port.

Over the last three days, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) has announced each day that a record number of trucks entered the Strip.

After inspecting their contents for weapons, 322 trucks were allowed in on Sunday, 419 on Monday, and 468 on Tuesday, the office said.

In addition, Tuesday saw a large airdrop of aid over Gaza, conducted by an Indonesian military cargo plane that took off and landed back in Jordan. Israel allowed the flight although Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim country, has no diplomatic relations with the Jewish state.

According to COGAT statistics, through the end of March, Israel has allowed into the coastal enclave 252,585 tons of food and 19,805 tons of medical equipment.

Many in Israel dispute the charge that there is mass famine in Gaza, pointing to videos on social media that show food in the markets.

Others point to online evidence that Hamas steals humanitarian aid, even firing on Gaza civilians who try to get near the trucks its men have commandeered.