NewsU.S. and Israel talk about the future of the Gaza Strip. Aims for civilian relief and a shift from intense combat

U.S. and Israel talk about the future of the Gaza Strip. Aims for civilian relief and a shift from intense combat

Smoke over the Gaza Strip after Israeli shelling
Smoke over the Gaza Strip after Israeli shelling
Images source: © PAP | PAP/EPA/MOHAMMED SABER

3:31 AM EST, December 19, 2023

Previously, Austin also had conversations with Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Relative to this gathering, a declaration was released. The Pentagon chief asserted the necessity for increased humanitarian aid for the Gaza Strip along with better dissemination of the resources. Nearly 2 million individuals in Gaza are currently internal refugees.

During a media briefing, the head of the Pentagon disclosed that he and his Israeli equivalent deliberated on the importance of securing the civilian populace in the Gaza Strip. The dialogue also discussed potential plans to shift from extensive combat to lower-intensity military operations. Austin recognized, however, that this was an Israeli operation. - I'm not here to impose terms or conditions - he added.

A new phase in the war

Israel's Defense Minister, Joav Galant, announced that Israel will sequentially proceed into the next phase of operations inside the Gaza Strip. The military's actions will be based on the situation at a specific location and time. Galant guaranteed that where Israel gains ground, the military will strive to allow civilians to return to their homes.

The minister also assured that under no circumstances will Israel execute civil control over the Gaza Strip.

Potential escalation

In his address, the Pentagon head urged Lebanon's Hezbollah against "actions that could incite a larger clash".

When queried about the hazard of a dispute with Lebanon, Galant conceded that Israel is preparing for possible military operations on this front as well. He emphasized, however, that the Israeli government would rather depend on diplomacy when interacting with Beirut.

As analyzed by the Associated Press, the U.S. is making attempts to persuade Israel to moderate the intensity of operations in the Gaza Strip post-France, Great Britain, and Germany, and to mitigate civilian casualties.

A few days earlier, the U.S. perspective on this issue was revealed in Tel Aviv by the White House advisor on national security, Jake Sullivan. His task as described by the spokesman of the American Security Council, John Kirby, was to convince the government of Netanyahu to "limit civilian casualties" among Palestinians. Furthermore, the U.S. administration opposes the re-capture of the Strip. Nevertheless, Netanyahu asserts that an Israeli battalion will be stationed in the semi-enclave.

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