An Israeli official said it is not his country’s intention to “reoccupy Gaza or control it for a long time” after the war with Hamas, according to a report.
The remarks by what Reuters described as a senior Israeli official in Washington come as Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said on Wednesday that the US believes there should be “no repeat of Gaza” after the Israel-Hamas war.
“The idea behind Israel going in militarily is to destroy Hamas’ ability to threaten us,” Reuters quoted an Israeli official as saying this week on condition of anonymity. “We understand that this will take time and that even if we complete this phase of our military operation, we will have to take action against their remaining military infrastructure.”
“It is not Israel’s intention to reoccupy Gaza or to control it for a long time,” the official reportedly added, noting that “our operation is not open-ended.”
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Blinken, speaking on Wednesday after a Group of Seven meeting in Tokyo, told reporters: “Ultimately, the only way to ensure that this crisis never happens again is to start setting the conditions for lasting peace and security and to frame our diplomatic efforts.
“Now, with that in mind, the United States believes that the key elements should not include the forcible removal of Palestinians from Gaza, not now, not after the war,” he said. “No use of Gaza as a platform for terrorism. Or other violent attacks. No reoccupation of Gaza after the conflict therefore, no attempt to blockade or besiege Gaza. No reduction in Gaza territory. We must also ensure that they cannot to provoke terrorist threats from the West Bank”.
Blinken added that he has heard from Israeli leaders that “they have no intention of reoccupying Gaza and regaining control of it” but “the only question is whether there is some transition period that might be necessary and what the mechanisms might be.” that you could put in place for that, to make sure there’s security.”
BLINKEN SAYS NO ‘GAZA RELOCATION’ AFTER ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR
Blinken’s comments come after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would likely control Gaza’s security for an “indefinite period” after the war against Hamas ends.
Netanyahu made the remarks in an interview with ABC published late Monday night.
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“I believe that Israel will, for an indefinite period of time, have overall responsibility for security because we have seen what happens when we don’t have it,” Netanyahu said. “When we don’t have that security responsibility, what we have is the explosion of Hamas terrorism on a scale we couldn’t have imagined.”
Anders Hagstrom of Fox News contributed to this report.