Trump Criticizes Israel’s Photos of Bombings in Gaza


  • Trump said Israel needs to “finish up” its war in Gaza as it’s “losing a lot of support” around the world.
  • He said Israel made “a very big mistake” by releasing photos of its bombing campaign.
  • His comments come at a boiling point in US-Israeli relations after the UN passed a ceasefire vote.

Amid a growing rift between President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, former President Donald Trump said Israel had erred by sharing images of its Gaza campaign that’s slain more than 32,000 people and reduced much of Gaza to rubble.

Trump’s comments, which came just as the United Nations passed a historic vote to call for a ceasefire on the strip, focus mostly on how Israel must handle the global backlash and severe scrutiny it now faces.

In an interview Monday, the presumptive Republican Party presidential nominee called on Israel to “finish up” its war in Gaza, saying the country is “losing a lot of support” around the world.

Trump has only voiced his opinion on the war in Gaza fairly recently. Back in early March, he called into the “Fox & Friends” show on Super Tuesday, urging Israel to “finish the problem.”

Prior to that, Trump had often sidestepped a straight answer on the war, instead touting strong US-Israeli relations during his first term in office and claiming the October 7 attacks by terrorist group Hamas would have never happened if he were president. He has criticized Biden’s handling of the war, but has offered little on what he would do differently.


Aftermath of the overnight Israeli bombardment west of the Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip on March 16, 2024, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the militant group Hamas.

Aftermath of the overnight Israeli bombardment west of the Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip on March 16, 2024, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the militant group Hamas.

AFP via Getty Images



Trump didn’t raise concerns with Israel’s campaign in Gaza — he has suggested he would’ve reacted similarly to the Israeli government after the October 7 attacks. Its PR does, though.

In the interview Monday, Trump criticized Israel for making “a very big mistake” with photos showing its widespread air raids and bombing campaigns on the strip.

“I wanted to call [Israel] and say don’t do it,” Trump said. “These photos and shots. I mean, moving shots of bombs being dropped into buildings in Gaza. And I said, ‘Oh, that’s a terrible portrait. It’s a very bad picture for the world.'”

He added that while it appears “Israel wanted to show that it’s tough,” the propaganda efforts have had a negative effect.


israel missile gaza strip

A picture taken from the southern Israeli city of Sderot on October 26, 2023, shows flares fired by the Israeli army over the northern Gaza Strip.

Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images



Trump is referencing the countless photos and videos that, since the beginning of the war, have documented intense air raids, ground campaigns, and bombings conducted by Israel.

Some photos, published by Israel’s government, have shown fighter jets equipped with what appear to be unguided “dumb” bombs, which have potential for mass collateral damage and casualties when used in densely packed urban areas.

Other photos have shown the destruction left in the wake of Israel’s campaign against Hamas. Flattened streets, once bustling with homes and buildings, and Palestinian civilians barely escaping wreckage surround them.

Since Israel began its full-scale war against Hamas in Gaza, it has killed more than 32,000 people, mainly women and children, according to Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry. Hamas’ October 7 brutal terrorist attacks against Israel killed 1,200 people, injured thousands more, and resulted in 250 people being taken hostage into Gaza.


Gaza attacks

A missile explodes in Gaza City during an Israeli air strike on October 8, 2023.

MAHMUD HAMS



The percentage of Americans who say they hold favorable views towards Israel plummeted to its lowest level in two decades, especially among 18- to 34-year-olds, a Gallup poll in February found.

The global backlash to Israel that Trump referenced has come to a head in recent days, as the UN Security Council passed a vote calling for an “immediate ceasefire” after multiple failed attempts. The vote passed thanks to US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield abstaining; the US had previously vetoed resolutions related to the ceasefire and proposed its own resolution last week, which China and Russia both vetoed.

The vote was met with a fiery response from Netanyahu, who canceled high-priority meetings between the White House and Israel about plans for an upcoming offensive in Rafah. “The United States has abandoned its policy in the UN today,” Netanyahu’s office said in a statement posted on X.

“Regrettably,” Netanyahu’s office said, “the United States did not veto the new resolution, which calls for a ceasefire that is not contingent on the release of hostages. This constitutes a clear departure from the consistent US position in the Security Council since the beginning of the war.”


Permanent US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas Greenfield votes during a UN Security Council meeting for a ceasefire vote in Gaza at the United Nations headquarters on March 25, 2024, in New York City.

Permanent US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas Greenfield votes during a UN Security Council meeting for a ceasefire vote in Gaza at the United Nations headquarters on March 25, 2024, in New York City.

John Lamparski/Getty Images



“In light of the change in the US position, Prime Minister Netanyahu decided that the delegation will remain in Israel,” his office added. The delegation was supposed to travel to Washington this week, where Biden officials hoped to sway Israel away from a ground offensive in Rafah, which could result in mass civilian casualties.

The US said it was “very disappointed” Netanyahu canceled the meeting, with US National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby saying the White House was “perplexed” by his reaction.

“The Prime Minister’s office seems to be indicating through public statements that we somehow changed here. We haven’t,” Kirby told reporters, adding that “it seems like the prime minister’s office is choosing to create perception of daylight here when they don’t need to do that. So, again, no change in our policy.”



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