US Secretary of State tells Israel to phase out war, agree to Palestinian state

IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari said on Monday, ‘The war will continue in 2024 but in a different way.’

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Israeli ministers and expressed concern over the continuing war in Gaza, the prevention of escalation with Hezbollah on the northern border, and the future governance of the Gaza Strip after the war.

Blinken met in Tel Aviv with President Isaac Herzog, Foreign Minister Israel Katz, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

He discussed the outcome of his meetings with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Jordan, Greece, and Turkey, and said that if Israel is focused on winding down the war they may be able to enjoy the warming of relations with these countries and cooperation that occurred before October 7th.

However, he added that this would only be possible if Israel put Palestinians in charge of Gaza after the war as a pathway to the Palestinian State.

The Biden Administration has repeatedly stressed that a “revamped and revitalized” Palestinian Authority should ultimately control Gaza.

Although Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has rejected this solution, he hasn’t created a clear strategy for the governance of Gaza after the war aside from insisting that Israel must have security controls to prevent terrorist attacks.

Blinken also stated that easing the intensity of the war and bringing it into the next phase of targeted attacks rather than intense fighting should be the goal to reduce Gazan casualties, which the Hamas Health Ministry has stated is 23,000.

President Herzog told the Secretary of State that Israel is doing its “utmost under extremely complicated circumstances on the ground, to make sure that there will be no unintended consequences and no civilian casualties.”

The IDF announced that it has completed its goal of dismantling Hamas infrastructure in the northern part of Gaza, while intense fighting continues in terror strongholds located in Khan Younis.

Adm. Daniel Hagari, an Israeli military spokesman told reporters on Monday, “The war will continue in 2024 but in a different way. Reservists will be released. We will act in different ways according to the needs of the operational space.”

The Secretary of State also expressed the desire to prevent an all-out war from breaking out between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

On Saturday, Hezbollah launched the largest missile strike against Israeli targets in the north as retaliation for Israel killing a senior Hamas leader in Beirut last week.

Hezbollah said its drones exploded in the northern city of Tzfat, further into Israel than previous missile strikes on border towns.

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On Sunday in Qatar, Blinken said, “This is a moment of profound tension in the region. This is a conflict that could easily metastasize, causing even more insecurity and even more suffering.”

Blinken also emphasized in his discussion with the ministers the US’ “relentless efforts” to assist in releasing hostages in Gaza.

He added that he will share what he heard from regional allies with Herzog and Netanyahu.