Pentagon officials say weapons sent to Israel for defense against attacks from Hamas were sent without any preconditions, unlike weapons sent to Ukraine.
During a press briefing on Tuesday, Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh was asked by reporters whether weapons sent to Israel came with any preconditions.
Earlier in the day, a Hamas-controlled hospital in the Gaza Strip was hit by an airstrike, which was later determined by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to be a misfired missile from a barrage of missiles connected to Islamic Jihad.
The first plane carrying U.S. armaments landed in Israel last week, which contained munitions ‘designed to facilitate significant military operations and increase preparedness for other scenarios,’ IDF officials said, though the types of weapons or military equipment received was not disclosed.
After learning of the attack on the hospital, Singh was asked if there was any concern in the Department of Defense that the U.S. could be involved in possible war crimes committed against civilians.
‘What I will say is that exactly what you just said, is that we did not put any preconditions on Israel when it comes to using our security assistance,’ she said. ‘From the beginning, what we have said is that governments like us, or democracies, is what separates ourselves from Hamas. We certainly expect Israel, as with any ally or partner, to uphold the law of war.’
A few minutes later, another reporter pointed to Israel’s ‘very long and well documented history of targeting and killing civilians,’ asking why not just tell the country based on their history, the U.S. was putting end-use monitoring systems in place to track the weapons the same way they track in other countries, like Ukraine.
Singh said the Pentagon was confident in its discussions with Israeli officials, reiterating that preconditions were not placed on Israel simply because it is a democracy and the country should follow the law of war.
‘What I can tell you, again, is what [Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin] has been very clear on, is that we expect Israel to uphold the law of war…,’ she said.
Conditions were placed on Ukrainians, particularly with cluster munitions, and Ukrainian officials are required to tell the U.S. government where they have been used, while also being required to keep a list of how they were used and on what targets.
‘I would say that both Ukraine and Israel are engaged in two very different wars right now,’ Singh said in response to an inquiry of whether the U.S. trusts Israel more than Ukraine. ‘I would say that the way that the Ukrainians are employing the [dual-purpose improved conventional munitions] on the battlefield is responsible. They are keeping track of where they are going.’
She explained that tracking the munitions was for Ukraine’s safety and security, because when they start taking back their territory, they will need to clear those to avoid civilian casualties.
‘Israel is one of our oldest, longest partners in the region,’ Singh said. ‘This attack is considered their 9/11. They have every right and should respond to the terrorists that killed innocent people.
‘But again, we have to remember that they were attacked viciously on Oct. 7,’ she added.
Fox News Digital’s Louis Casiano contributed to this report.