The White House issued a statement on Friday saying that U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan expressed deep sympathy for the Palestinian civilians who have lost their lives in Gaza since October 7.
The statement added that Sullivan discussed U.S. efforts to increase humanitarian assistance to Palestinian civilians in Gaza with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and stressed the importance of strengthening civilian protections.
Sullivan also discussed efforts to strengthen stability in the West Bank, including current measures to target terrorism and incitement, as well as recent measures to target extremist settler violence against Palestinians, the statement noted.
Sullivan highlighted U.S. President Joe Biden’s long-term vision for a more peaceful, integrated and prosperous Middle East that achieves a two-state solution that provides equal justice, freedom and dignity for Israelis and Palestinians.
Abbas, in turn, called for an end to Israeli military operations in Gaza “through an immediate ceasefire” and to spare civilians from the fighting, stressing that “the Gaza Strip is an integral part of the Palestinian state.”
The Palestinian Wafa News Agency reported that Abbas stressed “the need to stop Israel’s continued aggression against the Palestinian people” when meeting with Sullivan in the West Bank.
Abbas called for “an immediate ceasefire and genocidal war, especially in the Gaza Strip, to spare civilians the scourge of bombing, killing and destruction.”
Abbas reiterated his emphasis on “opening all crossings, doubling relief, medical and food supplies, and delivering water, electricity and fuel to the Gaza Strip as quickly as possible,” the statement said.
The statement noted that Abbas asked the United States to “intervene to force Israel” to cease its operations in the West Bank and “prevent forced displacement in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.”
Abbas stressed that “peace and security can only be achieved through the implementation of a two-state solution… and security and military solutions have proven to be failures and will not achieve security and stability in the region.”
He stressed that “the Gaza Strip is an integral part of the Palestinian state” and refused to accept Israel’s plan for partial or complete separation.
Sullivan, who traveled to Ramallah to meet with Abbas after a visit to Israel earlier on Friday, argued that reoccupying Gaza would not be “right” in the long term.
“In the long term, we don’t think it’s logical or right for Israel to occupy Gaza or reoccupy Gaza,” Sullivan told reporters in Tel Aviv, explaining after meeting with prominent Israeli officials that “ultimately, control and management of Gaza must” and its security for Palestinians. “
He added, “We believe that the Palestinian Authority needs renewal and revitalization, as well as the modernization of its methods of governance and representation of the Palestinian people.”
Washington has proposed a role for the Palestinian Authority in governing the Gaza Strip, which has been controlled by Hamas since 2007 despite the authority’s declining support among Palestinians.