U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan said during a visit to Israel on Friday that the Gaza war will enter a new phase focused on precise targeting of Hamas leadership “listed as terrorists in the United States and other countries” and intelligence-driven action.
Sullivan stressed that “it will take months to achieve Israel’s goals in the war, but the fighting will continue in stages, changing the current campaign that relies on intensive bombing and ground operations.”
Sullivan did not provide details on when the war’s tempo would change, Reuters reported.
“Certainly, this situation and timing are part of my conversations with Prime Minister (Gemin) Netanyahu, the war cabinet, Israel’s military leaders and the defense minister,” he told a news conference.
“We have had constructive negotiations to move to a less serious phase and we will continue to discuss with the Israelis the issue of munitions used in the war,” he added.
“The fight against Hamas will take a lot of time, and its elimination will be carried out in stages,” he explained, noting that the movement “has gained a foothold among the civilian population, which is a burden for Israel.”
He emphasized that “Hamas’ presence among civilians does not negate Israel’s responsibility to avoid putting Palestinian civilians at risk.”
The U.S. national security adviser said that “every civilian life must be sacredly protected.”
Asked whether the United States might freeze military aid if the war does not enter a less serious phase with fewer civilian casualties, Sullivan declined to answer, saying the best way to reach an agreement was through closed-door discussions. According to Reuters.
According to Agence France-Presse, Sullivan stressed that Israel’s long-term occupation of Gaza is not “correct” and that there is increasing speculation about the future of the Palestinian territories.
“In the long term, we do not believe that it is logical or correct for Israel to occupy Gaza or reoccupy Gaza,” he told reporters in Tel Aviv.
Sullivan stressed that U.S. President Joe Biden is committed to maintaining peace and reaching a two-state solution.
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“Control of the Gaza Strip and its security must be handed over to the Palestinians,” Sullivan said.
The U.S. national security adviser said he would meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and discuss strengthening security forces with him.
He stressed that “the Palestinian Authority must improve in terms of governance.”
The U.S. National Security Advisor emphasized that “the United States will work with the Palestinian Authority to implement necessary reforms.”
“We are in discussions with Israel, Egypt and Qatar regarding the release of the hostages,” Sullivan said.
“We will not tolerate terrorist threats like what we are seeing from Hezbollah,” he continued, stressing that “the Houthis pose a threat to maritime navigation and international trade.”
“We are seeking to work with our allies to counter the threat from the Iran-backed Houthis,” he continued.
“The United States is working with the international community and partners from the region and around the world to address this threat,” Sullivan told reporters, adding, “The Houthis are pulling the trigger… but Iran is handing them over. “arms. ”
US pressures Israel to start ‘ending war’
Washington is pressuring Israel to end its large-scale ground and air operations in the Gaza Strip within weeks and enter a “more targeted” phase against the Hamas movement, which is “controlled by the United States and several others.” The country lists it as a terrorist organization.” According to US newspaper reports.
Washington is pressuring Israel to end its large-scale ground and air operations in the Gaza Strip within weeks and enter a “more targeted” phase against the Hamas movement. The Hamas movement is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States and several countries. other countries, according to U.S. newspapers.
National security adviser Jake Sullivan has urged Israeli leaders to shift away from reliance on airstrikes and ground assaults in Gaza toward targeted military action, U.S. officials said, warning that a protracted conflict would make it difficult to govern the Palestinian territory after the war. . Newspaper reports.wall street journal“.
The United States is applying sweeping pressure in the region until Israel begins to end the conflict. U.S. officials, whom the Journal did not name, said the U.S. wants to see the fighting end in weeks, not months. This is despite the Biden administration continuing to support Israel in destroying Hamas’s ability to conduct military operations or rule Gaza.
The newspaper quoted “New York TimesFour unidentified U.S. officials said “Biden wants Israel to shift to a more precise strategy in about three weeks.”
The timeline, which U.S. officials have made clear to their Israeli counterparts in recent days, is the latest “incremental step” taken by the administration to declare that U.S. patience with mass civilian deaths is “beginning to run out.”
President Joe Biden has strongly supported Israel, but on Tuesday he issued his strongest criticism of the country, warning it could lose international support due to “indiscriminate bombardment.”
U.S. officials, including Sullivan, are in Israel encouraging the IDF to “improve its operations inside Gaza and begin a transition to operations that rely more on intelligence, special operations forces and small bombs.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General C.Q. Brown are expected to arrive in Israel over the weekend.
Officials said the new phase envisioned by the U.S. would include “Israel using smaller, elite forces in and out of Gaza’s population centers to conduct more precise missions to find and kill Hamas leaders, rescue hostages and rescue hostages,” according to the New York Times , destroy the tunnel.
At a meeting in Israel on Thursday, Israeli leaders presented Sullivan with their own timeline for launching more targeted attacks, which is slower than the one preferred by Biden and some of his advisers.
U.S. officials stressed that “Sullivan did not direct or order the Israeli leadership to change tactics.”
The war between Israel and Hamas erupted after the movement launched surprise attacks on military sites and residential areas adjacent to the Gaza Strip, killing 1,200 people, mostly civilians, including women and children, and 1,200 others. 239 people died who were kidnapped, according to Israeli authorities.
Israel has launched an intense air, sea and ground bombardment of the besieged Gaza Strip, followed by ground operations. According to reports, since the outbreak of the war, 18,787 people, mostly women and children, have been killed in Gaza, while 50,897 others have been injured. The Hamas Health Ministry announced Thursday.