Israeli truckloads of food cross into Gaza, April 27, 2014. (Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib /Flash90) Israeli truckloads of food cross into Gaza, April 27, 2014. (Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib /Flash90)

‘Never in the history of warfare have I seen such an effort by one of the protagonists in a war to lessen the effect on the population of the other side,’ Graham said.

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham pushed back on claims Israel has sought to starve Gazans as part of the ongoing war against Hamas, calling the accusation “bullsh**.”

Speaking with reporters during a visit to Jerusalem’s King David Hotel Wednesday, the Republican lawmaker said the claim that Israel has used starvation as a weapon of war is a modern-day “blood libel.”

“You’re talking about an accusation that is just a blood libel,” South Carolina’s senior senator said.

“Never in the history of warfare have I seen such an effort by one of the protagonists in a war to lessen the effect on the population of the other side,” Graham continued.

“The Israeli military and government, in my view, are doing incredible efforts in a time of war to make sure that innocent Palestinians can have the basics of life.”

Last week, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Israel is using starvation as a weapon of war” against Gaza.  “Israel is provoking famine.”

In his rebuttal of such accusations, Graham noted the flow of supplies into Gaza.

“I know it is miserable in Gaza. I’m sure it is. But the food is flowing. Health care is flowing the best it can.”

“The Israeli people through their military and elected officials have chosen to help the Palestinian people,” comparing the war between Israel and Hamas to World War II.

“Was there a moral imperative in World War II by the United States to lessen casualties in Germany and Japan?”

“If you had told the American people after Pearl Harbor, you need to come up with a plan to feed civilian populations and lessen casualties at the expense of military victory, you would have been run out of town.”

Graham placed the responsibility for the suffering caused by the war on both sides on the Hamas terror organization, calling its members “cowards,” and on Iran.

“They hide in tunnels,” Graham said of Hamas. “They hide behind children, women, the elderly, and the Palestinian people pay a heavy price.”

“At the end of the day, the Iranian problem has to be addressed for this region to ever know peace.”

The senator met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday, as well as with Minister-Without-Portfolio Benny Gantz.

During his visit, Graham also spoke with IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi by phone.

Turning to the future of the Gaza Strip after the current war with Hamas, Graham said that plans for Israel to “occupy Gaza and to resettle [Gazans]” was not “a practical solution that would have much support anywhere.”

“The best way forward, I believe, is for Saudi Arabia and Israel to reconcile, and for Saudi Arabia and other Arab Gulf states to take ownership of the Palestinian file in a fashion to demilitarize the West Bank and Gaza and to come up with a plan to deradicalize the populations.”

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