Blinken Speaks Out Against Reoccupation of Gaza

( – The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said last Wednesday that Israel should not reoccupy Gaza after their war with the militant Palestinian group Hamas, who control the territory.

On Wednesday, after a meeting in Tokyo for the Group of Seven, Blinken told reports that he believes “the only way to ensure that this crisis never happens again,” conditions need to be set “for durable peace and security” in the region “and to frame” US “diplomatic efforts.”

Blinken said that “with that in mind,” the official position of the US is that “no forcible displacement” should take place in Gaza, “now” or “after the war.” He said that key elements also include not allowing Gaza to be “a platform for terrorism” or “other violent attacks,” while avoiding “reduction” in Gaza territory and blockades and sieges. He added that these diplomatic requirements should also apply to the West Bank.

In his remarks, Blinken said he heard from Israeli officials that there are no intentions “to reoccupy Gaza and retake control,” yet the question remains if some kind of “transition period” will be necessary, and what “mechanisms” would have to be “put in place for that” which will ensure “security” for the Jewish state. He also said that a “sustained peace” could only be reached if the “post-crisis governance in Gaza” includes “Palestinian people’s voices and aspirations at the center.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested in an ABC interview last Monday night that Israel will likely continue to control security around the Gaza Strip indefinitely after the conflict is resolved. He said they have “seen what happens when” Israel doesn’t have “security responsibility” over the Palestinian territory. Netanyahu said that when that responsibility is out of Israeli hands, it resulted in “terror” from Hamas on an unimaginable scale. He has also stated they don’t plan to actually occupy the region.

Netanyahu also stated that Israel wouldn’t consider enacting a cease-fire until all of the hostages captured by Hamas during their October 7 attack are released.

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