Civilian Casualties in Gaza 'Too High,' Pentagon Says

Gaza
A Palestinian firefighter participates in efforts to put out a fire in a van, which witnesses said was hit in an Israeli air strike, in Gaza City July 31, 2014. Mohammed Salem/Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon called on Israel on Thursday to do more to protect civilian life during its military operations in Gaza, saying the conflict was taking too high a toll on civilians.

"The civilian casualties in Gaza have been too high. And it's become clear that the Israelis need to do more to live up to their very high standards - their very high and very public standards - for protecting civilian life," Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren said at a news briefing.

Gaza officials say more than 1,370 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed in the battered enclave. Israel says 56 of its soldiers and three civilians have been killed.