WASHINGTON - 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.

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Gaza officials say more than 1,370 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed in the hostilities. 56 Israeli soldiers three Israeli civilians have been killed.

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