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Israel occupation of Gaza after war makes ‘no sense’, says US National Security Adviser

December 16, 2023 at 3:35 pm

US President Joe Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan speaks at a White House Press Briefing at the White House in Washington, DC, on September 15, 2023 [Celal Güneş – Anadolu Agency]

Israel’s re-occupation of the Gaza Strip would neither “make sense” nor be “right”, the United States’ National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has told the Israeli government, as Washington and Tel Aviv continue to differ on the future of Gaza’s governance.

At a press briefing in Tel Aviv, according to the Financial Times, Sullivan stated that Israel does not “have a long-term plan to occupy Gaza” and revealed that the US was having “intensive” discussions with its ally regarding the method and timeframe of a transition to a new Palestinian administration in the besieged territory.

Insisting that Washington’s position on the strip’s future was “clear”, the national security adviser clarified that “We do not believe that it makes sense for Israel or is right for Israel to occupy Gaza, reoccupy Gaza over the long term, and we would like to see ultimately that transition take place”.

READ: US envoy hints at disagreement with Israel over timing to scale down war

The US administration of president Joe Biden views a realistic future for Gaza being governance by the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority (PA), with Sullivan saying that “At a basic level, we do believe that the PA needs to be revamped and revitalised, needs to be updated in terms of its method of governance, its representation of the Palestinian people”. He also reasoned that it must ultimately be “up to the Palestinian people to work through their representation”.

Israel has repeatedly made it clear over the past two months, however, that it does not want to see any Palestinian governance structure in the Gaza Strip after the end of the invasion and defeat of Palestinian resistance movement Hamas.

Most recently on Thursday, Benny Gantz – former Israeli defence minister and a member of the occupation’s war cabinet – made clear that Tel Aviv would maintain full security control of Gaza and that it would involve “taking territory” to provide a launch pad for future military operations.

READ: Talking about the future of Gaza is based on an unrealistic assumption