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US says Blinken will emphasize to Israel's Gallant the need for post-war Gaza plan

June 24, 2024 at 9:30 pm

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken gives a joint press conference with his Qatari counterpart in Doha on 12 June, 2024 [IBRAHEEM AL-OMARI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]

US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, on Monday will emphasize to Israeli Defence Minister, Yoav Gallant, the importance of Israel swiftly developing a robust and realistic plan for the governance of Gaza for when the war is over, the US State Department said, Reuters reports.

Department spokesperson, Matthew Miller, told a press briefing the top US diplomat will also discuss with Gallant, who is visiting Washington this week and meeting with senior US officials, the need to avoid further escalation of the Gaza conflict and to improve humanitarian access.

“We look to make progress on all of these issues,” Miller said.

Gallant came to the State Department moments before his schedule meeting with Blinken at 1 p.m. A small group of protesters outside the building chanted while holding a Palestinian flag as he entered.

He described his meetings in Washington, including the one with Blinken as “critical”, according to comments released by his office.

“The meetings we are holding are extremely important and impactful on the future of the war in Gaza and our ability to achieve the goals of the war, on developments on the northern border and other areas,” Gallant said.

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Washington has repeatedly urged Israel to craft a post-war plan for Gaza and warned that the absence of it could trigger lawlessness and chaos as well as a comeback by Hamas in the enclave. To date, Israel is yet to present such a plan.

“We have been quite consistent that for there to be an enduring defeat of Hamas, there needs to be a plan for what replaces them and what replaces that needs to be Palestinian-led governance, needs to be realistic security plans,” Miller said, repeating that Washington was against Israel reoccupying Gaza.

He added there was still no agreement with Israel on the issue even if Israel was telling Washington that it was getting close to ending major combat operations in Rafah.

“We do not want to see them reoccupy Gaza, which is why we continue to push for an alternative to that,” Miller said.

Aside from Blinken, Gallant met with Amos Hochstein and Brett McGurk, senior advisers to US President Joe Biden as well as CIA Director, Bill Burns. He is set to meet with Defence Secretary, Lloyd Austin, on Tuesday.

The war started when Palestinian Hamas fighters burst over the border and attacked Israel on 7 October, killing 1,200 people and taking 250 others hostage, according to Israeli tallies.

However, since then, it has been revealed by Haaretz that helicopters and tanks of the Israeli army had, in fact, killed many of the 1,139 soldiers and civilians claimed by Israel to have been killed by the Palestinian Resistance.

The Israeli offensive in retaliation has killed almost 37,600 people, according to Palestinian health authorities, and has left Gaza in ruins.

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