US National Security Advisor meets Netanyahu to discuss Gaza conflict

Jerusalem, Dec 14 (EFE).- United States National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday during an official visit to Israel. The meeting came at a time of disagreement between the two countries over the war in the Gaza Strip.

Netanyahu and Sullivan held a bilateral meeting in Tel Aviv in the presence of Israeli National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi and US President Joe Biden’s special envoy to the Middle East, Brett McGurk.

“An expanded meeting with the members of the war cabinet will be held later,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

Prior to his meeting with Netanyahu, Sullivan met alone with Hanegbi and with the minister of defense Yoav Gallant at the HaKirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv.

“The United States and Israel share common interests, common values and in this war, we also share common goals. This is important to the State of Israel and it is essential to the rest of the region, to the Middle East,” pointed out Gallant to Sullivan in a press release.

Gallant stated that Hamas is an organization that “built itself over a decade to fight Israel, and they built infrastructure under the ground and above the ground and it is not easy to destroy them.”

“It will require a long period of time — it will last more than several months, but we will win and we will destroy them,” the minister said in his meeting with Sullivan, who is also scheduled to meet later with Israeli President Isaac Herzog.

The trip comes after US president Joe Biden said Israel was losing support for its bombing campaign in Gaza, which has killed thousands of civilians.

Biden advised Netanyahu to change his government, which includes far-right parties opposed to dialogue with the Palestinians and the two-state solution.

Netanyahu has acknowledged that there are “differences” with the United States, his main ally, on the “day after Hamas” in the Palestinian Gaza Strip, and on Wednesday reiterated that Israel will continue the war despite international pressure for a cease-fire.

Israel has rejected a US proposal that the Palestinian Authority, which runs smaller parts of the occupied West Bank, take control of the Gaza Strip, now in the hands of the Islamist group Hamas, after the war ends.

Since the beginning of the conflict, Biden has expressed his unwavering support for Israel’s elimination of Hamas and his opposition to a cease-fire, which he believes would be used by the Islamist group to rearm and attack again.

The United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday approved by a large majority a resolution calling for a humanitarian cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, days after the United States vetoed a proposed Security Council resolution.

On Oct. 7, Hamas launched an attack on Israel that killed more than 1,200 people. Nearly 240 were kidnapped and taken to Gaza.

Israel declared war and launched a military operation by air, land and sea in the Palestinian enclave. Nearly 18,800 people have been killed and more than 50,800 wounded, according to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry. EFE


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