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Israel Defence Minister discusses 3rd phase of Gaza war with US envoy

June 24, 2024 at 8:49 pm

Israeli Minister of Defence Yoav Gallant speaks during a meeting at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia on March 26, 2024 [Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images]

Israeli Defence Minister, Yoav Gallant, held talks on Monday with US envoy, Amos Hochstein, to discuss moving to “Phase C” of Israel’s ongoing war on the Gaza Strip, Anadolu Agency reports.

Gallant is currently visiting the US for talks with American officials on the Gaza conflict.

Gallant told Hochstein that “the transition to ‘Phase C’ in the war in Gaza will impact developments on all fronts,” the Israeli Defence Ministry said in a statement.

“Israel is preparing for every scenario both militarily and diplomatically,” he added, in reference to growing tensions with the Lebanese group, Hezbollah.

The third phase, under the Israeli definition, includes low-intensity fighting in Gaza, targeted airstrikes, withdrawal of forces, the establishment of a buffer zone near Gaza’s border and finding an alternative to Hamas’s rule in the enclave.

Israel launched a deadly offensive on Gaza on 7 October following a Hamas attack, killing over 37,600 Palestinians and injuring nearly 86,100 others.

Gallant and Hochstein also discussed the actions required to achieve a safe return to Israelis to their homes in northern Israel, the statement said.

Last week, Hochstein visited Israel and Lebanon as part of US efforts to contain cross-border escalation between Tel Aviv and Hezbollah.

Tensions have soared along Lebanon’s border with Israel amid cross-border attacks between Hezbollah and Israeli forces. The group has linked the cessation of its attacks on Israel to the end of Tel Aviv’s onslaught on Gaza.

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