Tom Cotton Says Israel Can ‘Bounce The Rubble’ In Gaza Amid Humanitarian Crisis

The Arkansas Republican essentially said bombing Palestinian women and children is a justified counterattack to Hamas' assault on Israeli civilians.

Sen. Tom Cotton said on Sunday that Israel can “bounce the rubble” in Gaza, as Palestinian families in the blockaded enclave struggle to survive in the face of continued bombardment and lack of basic needs.

In an interview with Fox News, the Arkansas Republican and Senate Armed Services Committee member blamed Hamas for the thousands of Palestinians Israel has bombed to death.

“As far as I’m concerned, Israel can bounce the rubble in Gaza,” the senator said, using a phrase that refers to destroying something that is already destroyed.

Cotton also essentially said that bombing Palestinian women and children in Gaza is a justified counterattack, because Hamas militants killed women and children in their Oct. 7 assault in Israel. Hamas, which is based in Gaza, also took an estimated 100 hostages from the attack, many of whom are presumably women and children.

“Anything that happens in Gaza is the responsibility of Hamas. Hamas killed women and children in Israel last weekend,” the self-proclaimed “pro-life” senator said. “If women and children die in Gaza, it will be because Hamas is using them as human shields because they’re not currently allowing them to evacuate as Israel has asked them to do so.”

Gaza is made up of about 2.3 million Palestinians, roughly half of which are children. The Israeli military has been launching airstrikes on Gaza ever since Hamas’ attack, razing entire neighborhoods and killing thousands of Palestinians ― including more than half a million children. The attacks of the last week are in addition to the Israeli government’s decadeslong apartheid against Palestinians, of which multiple human rights groups have sounded the alarm.

In addition to the airstrikes, Israel has cut off Gaza’s access to food, water, medicine and electricity, leaving Palestinian families to drink dirty water, ration their food, lose internet access to the outside world, and count the days until hospitals lose power. An increasing number of journalists have also died in Gaza, making it more difficult for the public to get updated on the territory.

Cotton claimed that Gaza is the responsibility of Hamas, despite the Israeli government having control over the enclave and who gets to go in and out. Ahead of its planned ground invasion, Israel gave Palestinians in northern Gaza mere hours to evacuate this weekend, something the U.N. has warned is “impossible” and will lead to more deaths. Palestinians in Gaza also said there is nowhere to run, as they have been trapped in what they’ve called an “open-air prison” for years.

About half a million Palestinians whose homes have been obliterated are packing into U.N.-run schools and shelters. Since Israel declared war last weekend, it has launched airstrikes on some of those shelters.

“If Hamas uses schools, and kindergartens, and mosques for military purposes, Israel has every right under the laws of war to strike back,” Cotton claimed, adding that it is Hamas and not Israel committing war crimes. Both the Israeli forces and Hamas militants have engaged in violence that would widely be considered war crimes.

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