source : www.aljazeera.com
US President Joe Biden will not support an Israeli military occupation of the Gaza Strip after the war between Israel and Hamas ends, 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 suggested Israel would take control of Gaza’s security after the war.
Israel would assume responsibility for security for an “indefinite period,” he told ABC News on Monday.
“If we don’t have that security responsibility, what we have is the eruption of Hamas terror on a scale we couldn’t imagine,” he said.
Kirby said Tuesday that “there needs to be a healthy set of conversations about what post-conflict Gaza looks like and what governance looks like.”
“What we absolutely agree with our Israeli counterparts on is what it cannot look like, and it cannot look like what it looked like on October 6,” Kirby added.
US President Joe Biden has previously said it would be a “mistake” if Israel occupied Gaza.
Israel launched an air and ground offensive against Hamas after the armed group carried out a deadly rampage in southern Israel last month, killing 1,400 people and taking more than 230 hostage, according to Israeli officials.
At least 10,328 people, including 4,237 children, have been killed in the Israeli bombardment of Gaza, according to Palestinian health authorities.
Both Israel and Hamas have rejected mounting international pressure for a ceasefire. Israel says Hamas must first release the hostages. Hamas says it will not free them or stop fighting while Gaza is under attack.
Israeli ground forces fought Palestinian fighters in Gaza for over a week, cutting the area in half and encircling Gaza City.
Israeli military spokesman Daniel Hagari said the country’s ground forces “are currently engaged in a ground operation in the depths of Gaza City and are exerting heavy pressure on Hamas.”
Israel unleashed a new 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, others pushed 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 to move to the southern part of Gaza, out of the path of the ground attack. Many others fear this, as Israeli forces control part of the north-south route.
But the bombing of the south has also continued.
In the city of Deir al-Balah, rescuers pulled at least four dead and several injured children from the wreckage 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 on Tuesday. At least five bodies – including three dead children – were recovered from the rubble, the Associated Press news agency reported.
In addition to the bombardment, Israel has laid siege to Gaza, severely restricting access to food, water and electricity and cutting off fuel supplies to the more than 2.3 million people trapped in the sealed enclave.
A small amount of aid has arrived through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, but United Nations chief Antonio Guterres has called it “a trickle” of aid against an “ocean” of need.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Tuesday that a humanitarian convoy delivering medical supplies to Al-Shifa Hospital had come under fire in Gaza City, with one driver suffering minor injuries.
The ICRC has not identified the source of the fire.
The Rafah border crossing was closed this weekend after Israeli forces bombed an ambulance on its way to the border crossing.
source : www.aljazeera.com