The White House says Israel should not reoccupy Gaza after Netanyahu’s statements
The White House on Tuesday reiterated its opposition to Israel’s reoccupation of Gaza after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told ABC News’ “World News Tonight” host David Muir that he believes Israel will oversee Gaza’s security “for an indefinite period.”
On Monday, Moyer asked Netanyahu, in his first interview with US media since the conflict erupted following the October 7 Hamas terror attack, who should control Gaza when the conflict ends.
The prime minister said he believed Israel would bear “overall security responsibility” in Gaza for an “indefinite period.” Meanwhile, President Joe Biden has warned against Israel’s reoccupation of Gaza and is pushing for a two-state solution with the Palestinian Authority in control.
ABC News’ chief White House correspondent Selina Wang pressed National Security Council spokesman John Kirby about the clear differences between what the United States and Israel see as Gaza’s future.
“We are in active discussions with our Israeli counterparts about what post-conflict Gaza should look like,” Kirby responded. “The president is maintaining his position that reoccupation by Israeli forces is not the right thing to do. We will allow them to speak about their intentions. But we are certainly having conversations about what the post-conflict environment should look like, what it should look like.” Governance in Gaza should look like this.”
Kirby followed this statement by highlighting a clear area of agreement between the United States and Israel: the complete removal of Hamas from the region.
“The one thing that cannot be overlooked at all is that Hamas cannot be part of this equation,” Kirby said. “We can’t go back to October 6th.”
Kirby appeared at the daily press conference at the White House marking the one-month anniversary of the war between Israel and Gaza.
In Israel, at least 1,400 people have been killed and 6,900 others injured since the surprise terrorist attack carried out by Hamas on October 7, according to Israeli officials. In the neighboring Gaza Strip, where the Israel Defense Forces is expanding its operational activities, more than 10,000 people have been killed and nearly 26,000 others wounded, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza.
“After a month has passed, it would be good for everyone to take a knee, pause and remember the extent of the suffering here and the terrible images that many of us have seen outside of both Israel and Gaza,” Kirby said.
Kirby also asked ABC News whether Israel was following the rules of war, in light of the UN Secretary-General’s recent statement that Gaza had become a “graveyard of children.”
As of Friday, 67% of the total deaths in Gaza were women and children while thousands more were injured, according to several UN agencies, including the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in Palestine. Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the United Nations Sexual and Reproductive Health Agency (UNFPA), and the World Health Organization (WHO).
“What I will tell you is that we continue to emphasize to our Israeli counterparts that… [be] “They are being as discriminating and careful in their targeting as possible,” Kirby said. “It is sad to see, and it is horrific to see the images of young children being pulled out of the rubble and many of them not making it.” Hamas is putting these children and their families at greater risk by not allowing them to leave, and encouraging them to stay and take shelter in their homes.”
ABC News’ Mary Kikatos contributed to this report.
This article originally appeared on abcnews.go.com