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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

On the Next Episode of The Lead

The latest news and analysis on the U.S. and several Arab nations striking ISIS targets in Syria.

The latest news and analysis on the U.S. and several Arab nations striking ISIS targets in Syria.

August 6th, 2014
05:39 PM ET

Democratic congressman on civilian casualties: ‘I do not know what more Israel could have done’

(CNN) – The White House, the Pentagon, and the State Department have all said that Israel could have done more to prevent civilian casualties.

But Rep. Steve Israel, D-New York, disagrees.

"I do not know what more Israel could have done," he said in an interview with CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper." "In any war, you're always going to get the tragedy of those casualties."

Nearly 1,900 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza during the conflict, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. It's unclear how many were militants. The United Nations has estimated that at least 70% of the dead were civilians.

The congressman along with eight other U.S. lawmakers are in the middle of a week-long trip to Israel, paid for by the American Israel Education Foundation, a charitable group affiliated with the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC.

Rep. Israel met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Wednesday, and said he agrees with Israeli leader that Hamas is to blame for the rising death toll.

"It is Hamas who decided to launch rockets in an asymmetric way, and so it is Hamas who has the responsibility for increasing the number of fatalities," he said.

For more of our interview with Rep. Steve Israel, check out the video above.

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