US rejects Israeli reoccupation of Gaza

US national security advisor

WASHINGTON: United States National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has said that the United States would not accept any Israeli reoccupation of Gaza and would persist in opposing the forced displacement of Palestinians from the region, according to a news report by Dawn.

Sullivan’s announcement followed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s insinuation on CBS News that the Israeli military might assume control of Gaza post-war. Sullivan said, “No reoccupation of Gaza, no forcible displacement of the Palestinian people.”

He also clarified the US stance, emphasising that Gaza must never serve as a base for terrorism in the future, and its territory should not be diminished. He also outlined the US vision, stating, “Ultimately, we do want to see the reconnection, the reunification of control between the West Bank and Gaza under Palestinian leadership.”

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Simultaneously, the Palestinian organisation overseeing the West Bank conveyed to the Biden administration that it would consider governing Gaza post-war if the US commits to a two-state solution. In an interview with The New York Times, Hussein al-Sheikh, the secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), stressed that only a “full-fledged two-state solution can end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Al-Sheikh called for a serious American initiative that compels Israel to adhere to the solution, including an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and a resolution of the status of East Jerusalem.

Netanyahu, however, countered on Saturday that Israel would not accept Palestinian authority in Gaza and would retain “overall security control,” maintaining the capacity to intervene to eliminate “terrorists.”

The surge in civilian casualties during Israeli military raids has raised concerns in Washington. Last week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, speaking in New Delhi, expressed dismay, noting, “far too many civilians have been killed” in Gaza. A top State Department official testified to Congress that the Gaza health ministry’s estimate of 11,000 Palestinian casualties “may, in fact, be an undercount,” a shift from previous statements dismissing Palestinian statistics as exaggerated.

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