WASHINGTON, July 17 (Xinhua) -- The United States on Thursday urged Israel to do more to protect civilians in its conflict with Hamas militants.
"What we're asking for is a redoubling of efforts moving forward to prevent civilian casualties, given the events of the last couple of days," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told a press briefing.
Psaki said that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has raised concerns directly with Israel, adding that "we believe that certainly there is more that can be done."
"The tragic event makes clear that Israel must take every possible step to meet its standards for protecting civilians from being killed," Psaki said of the deaths of four Palestinian children on a beach in Gaza.
On Wednesday, Israel agreed to a UN-proposed temporary truce between 10:00 to 15:00 local time (0700 to 1200 GMT) Thursday, in order to allow humanitarian aid into the heavily bombarded Gaza Strip enclave.
The request for aid was made by the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Robert Serry, after an Israeli air raid killed four Palestinian children by the beach Wednesday afternoon. The Israeli Defense Forces claimed Israeli bombers mistook the young children for militants and said they are investigating the incident.