US President Joe Biden does not support a military occupation of the Gaza Strip by Israel after the end of the Israel-Hamas war, a White House spokesman said.
Biden believes that “a reoccupation of Gaza by Israeli forces is not the right thing to do,” White House national security spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Tuesday.
The comments come a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicated that Israel would take control of security in Gaza after the war.
Israel will assume responsibility for security “indefinitely,” he told ABC News on Monday.
“If we do not have this security responsibility, there will be an outbreak of Hamas terrorism on a scale that we cannot imagine,” he said.
Kirby said Tuesday that “there needs to be a series of healthy conversations about what Gaza looks like post-conflict and what governance looks like.”
“We absolutely agree with our Israeli colleagues on what it cannot look like, and it cannot look like what it looked like on October 6,” Kirby added.
US President Joe Biden had previously said it would be a “mistake” for Israel to occupy Gaza.
Israel launched an air and ground offensive against Hamas after the armed group went on a deadly rampage in southern Israel last month that left 1,400 people dead and more than 230 others taken hostage, according to Israeli officials.
According to Palestinian health authorities, at least 10,328 people have been killed in the Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip, including 4,237 children.
Both Israel and Hamas have rejected growing international pressure for a ceasefire. Israel says Hamas should release hostages first. Hamas says it will not free them or stop fighting while Gaza is under attack.
Israeli ground troops have been fighting Palestinian fighters in the Gaza Strip for more than a week, cutting the area in half and encircling Gaza City.
Israeli military spokesman Daniel Hagari said the country’s ground troops “are currently deployed in a ground operation deep in Gaza City, putting great pressure on Hamas.”
Israel unleashed another wave of attacks in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday as hundreds more Palestinians fled Gaza City to the south.
Some traveled on donkey carts, most on foot, some pushing elderly relatives in wheelchairs, all visibly exhausted. Many had nothing but the clothes on their backs.
Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have obeyed Israeli orders and moved to the southern part of the Gaza Strip to avoid ground attacks. Many others fear it because Israeli troops control part of the north-south route.
But the bombing of the south also continued.
In the city of Deir al-Balah, rescue workers pulled at least four dead and several injured children from the rubble of a flattened building, witnesses said. “My daughter,” a woman shouted as she ran after them.
An Israeli airstrike destroyed several houses in Khan Younis early Tuesday. At least five bodies – including three dead children – were recovered from the rubble, the Associated Press news agency reported.
In addition to the bombing, Israel imposed a siege on the Gaza Strip, severely restricting access to food, water and electricity and cutting off fuel supplies to the more than 2.3 million people trapped in the isolated enclave.
A small amount of aid arrived through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, but United Nations chief Antonio Guterres described it as “a trickle” of aid against an “ocean” of need.
On Tuesday, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said a humanitarian convoy carrying medical supplies to Al-Shifa Hospital came under fire in Gaza City and a driver suffered minor injuries.
The ICRC was unable to identify the source of the fire.
The Rafah border crossing was closed over the weekend after Israeli forces bombed an ambulance traveling to the crossing.
Source : www.aljazeera.com