Mon 24 Jun 2024 10:53 pm - Jerusalem Time

Blinken assures Gallant of the administration's full support for Israel in its war on Gaza

The US State Department said on Monday that Secretary of State Anthony Blinken assured Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant in their meeting on Monday of the United States' full commitment to Israel's security and its support for its plans to defeat Hamas.

It also stressed the importance of Israel quickly developing a strong and realistic plan to govern Gaza after the end of the war.

Department spokesman Matthew Miller said in a press conference that the top US diplomat also discussed with Gallant, who is visiting Washington this week and meeting with senior US officials, the need to avoid further escalation of the conflict in Gaza and improve humanitarian access.

“We look forward to making progress on all of these issues,” Miller said.

Gallant came to the State Department building moments before his meeting with Blinken (at 1 p.m. (local time). Gallant entered the building while a group of demonstrators were outside the building, carrying the Palestinian flag as he entered.

Gallant described his meetings in Washington, including the meeting with Blinken, as “decisive,” according to statements issued by his office.

Gallant said, "The meetings we are holding are very important and affect the future of the war in Gaza, our ability to achieve the goals of the war, and developments on the northern border and other areas."

Washington has long urged Israel to formulate a post-war plan in Gaza and warned that its absence could lead to chaos and anarchy as well as the return of Hamas to the Strip. So far, Israel has not yet presented such a plan.

Miller said, "We have been absolutely consistent that in order for there to be a permanent defeat for Hamas, there must be a plan for what will replace it, and what will replace that needs Palestinian-led governance, and it must be realistic security plans," reiterating that Washington opposes Israel's reoccupation of Gaza. .

He added that there is still no agreement with Israel on this issue, even if Israel informed Washington that it is close to ending the main combat operations in Rafah.

In response to a question about the Israeli occupation of Gaza, Miller said: “Israel is practically occupying the Gaza Strip at the present time, but we do not want to see them reoccupy Gaza, and that is why we continue to press to find an alternative to that.”

In addition to Blinken, Gallant met with Amos Hochstein and Brett McGurk, senior advisors to US President Joe Biden, as well as CIA Director Bill Burns. He is scheduled to meet with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Tuesday.

Blinken discussed with Galanat the issue of the arrest of one American shipment of weapons, including 2,000-pound bombs, which the administration said was under evaluation, and that it was possible that this shipment would be released, despite the administration’s anger at Netanyahu for accusing the American administration of stopping or slowing the export of weapons.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed on Sunday that there had been a significant decline in the volume of weapons imported to Israel from the United States recently, indicating his hope that a solution to this issue would be found soon.

At the beginning of the government session, Netanyahu explained that he appreciates the support of President Joe Biden and the US administration for Israel since the outbreak of the war in Gaza last October, as Washington provided its moral and material support through defensive and offensive means.

But he (Netanyahu), who is facing a lot of pressure regarding the continuation of the war and the failure to resolve the Hamas hostage problem, pointed out that “about 4 months ago, there was a significant decrease in the volume of weapons supplied by the United States to Israel, as we were advancing for many weeks to our friends.” The Americans asked to accelerate the pace of shipments. We have done this time after time, at the highest levels, and at all levels, and I would like to emphasize that we have done this in closed rooms, and we have received different explanations, which the American administration denies.


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Blinken assures Gallant of the administration's full support for Israel in its war on Gaza