TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday called on Israel to work with moderate Palestinians and neighboring countries on plans for postwar Gaza, saying they were willing to help rebuild and govern the territory but only if there is a “pathway to a Palestinian state.”
The U.S. and Israel are united in the war against Hamas but sharply divided over Gaza’s future, with Washington and its Arab allies hoping to revive the long-moribund peace process, an idea that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his coalition partners sharply oppose.
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Israel, he added “must be a partner of the Palestinian leaders who are willing to lead their people” and live “side by side in peace with Israel.” Settler violence, settlement expansion, home demolitions and evictions “all make it harder, not easier, for Israel to achieve lasting peace and security.”
U.S. officials have called for the Palestinian Authority, which currently administers parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, to take the reins in Gaza. Israeli leaders have rejected that idea but have not put forward a concrete plan beyond saying they will maintain open-ended military control over the territory.
Blinken has said that Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey agreed to begin planning for the reconstruction and governance of Gaza once the war ends. The leaders of Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority are set to meet Wednesday in Jordan’s southern Red Sea city of Aqaba.
View this AP News Report from Janaury 9th