National security adviser Jake Sullivan on Sunday emphasized the U.S.’s stance on the future of Gaza, arguing the U.S. believes the basic principles of the future include “no reoccupation of Gaza” and “no forcible displacement of the Palestinian people.”
Asked by CBS News “Face the Nation” anchor Margaret Brennan about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s opposition to a Palestinian Authority-led government in Gaza that appears to be “not on the same page” as the Biden administration, Sullivan said Secretary of State Antony Blinken laid out the “the basic principles of the way forward.”
“No reoccupation of Gaza, no forcible displacement of the Palestinian people. Gaza can never be used as a base for terrorism in the future and Gaza’s territory should not be reduced,” Sullivan continued.
Blinken’s comments were part of a joint statement from diplomats of the Group of Seven last week, in which he reiterated the Palestinian Authority, which operates the West Bank government, should take control.
“Secretary Blinken also said that ultimately, we do want to see the reconnection, the reunification of control between the West Bank and Gaza under Palestinian leadership,” Sullivan said. “The Palestinian Authority is the current leadership on the West Bank. But ultimately, it’s gonna be up to the Palestinian people to decide their future, who governs them and the United States will support a process —”
Brennan interjected to point out Gaza hasn’t held elections in “ages”; Sullivan agreed.
Netanyahu said Saturday that Israel will retain “overall security control” in Gaza “including the capacity to go in whenever we want to eliminate terrorists who may pop up again.”
Fighting has raged for over a month since Hamas, a U.S.-designated terrorist group, launched a bloody incursion on Oct. 7 into Israel that left about 1,200 people dead, most of them civilians.
“But post-Oct. 7, we can’t go back to the way things were on Oct. 6. And that goes for ensuring that Hamas cannot represent a continuing threat to Israel,” Sullivan said.
Israel quickly responded with a bombardment of Gaza, including hundreds of air strikes, bombings and a siege on basic necessities. Israeli forces have vowed to destroy Hamas, and recently launched a ground invasion into Gaza City in the northern part of the region .
Over 11,070 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since the war broke out last month, according to the Hamas-ruled Health Ministry in Gaza.
Concerns have been raised in recent days over an “indefinite” period of Israeli military control of Gaza post-war, with some worried a new occupation could destabilize the Middle East.
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Author: Miranda Nazzaro