US Secretary of State lists “key elements” to achieve “lasting peace and security” after Israel’s Gaza war.
Gaza cannot be ruled by Israel or Hamas once the ongoing conflict is over, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, reiterating the White House’s stance.
Speaking to reporters after G7 foreign ministers’ talks in Japan on Wednesday, Blinken listed “key elements” needed to create “durable peace and security,” with the U.S. apparently keen to start a conversation about post- to open up conflict scenarios.
There should be “no forcible expulsion of Palestinians from Gaza, either now or after the war; no use of Gaza as a platform for terrorism or other violent attacks; “No reoccupation of the Gaza Strip after the end of the conflict,” he emphasized.
The U.S. official also warned against an “attempt to blockade or besiege Gaza” or a “reduction in the territory of Gaza.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicated on Monday that Israel would take control of security in the Gaza Strip after the war.
However, U.S. officials said the following day that President Joe Biden did not support “a reoccupation by Israeli forces.”
Blinken doubled down on that message. He also reiterated Washington’s view that Gaza cannot be ruled by Hamas, the group that currently runs the enclave.
“This simply invites a repeat of October 7,” he said, referring to the group’s deadly attack on Israel that triggered the retaliatory bombing of the Gaza Strip that killed more than 10,000 people in Palestinian territory.
“The reality now is that a transition period may be necessary at the end of the conflict… We do not see a reoccupation and what I have heard from Israeli leaders is that they have no intention of reoccupying Gaza. ” he added.
On Tuesday, in response to US statements, Hamas said that governing the enclave was a “purely Palestinian matter” and that it could not be part of the ruling equation in Gaza.
“Governing Gaza or any part of our land is a Palestinian matter, and no power will be able to change reality or impose its will,” Hamas spokesman Abdul-Latif al-Qanou said.
“Hamas is a national liberation movement and lives in every Palestinian home,” al-Qanou said. “Hamas is an integral part of our people and has the right to resist the occupation in accordance with all laws and customs.”
Source : www.aljazeera.com