with Israel-Hamas war Well into its seventh week, the State Department was pressed Monday on how the Biden administration envisions the end of the conflict and what exactly comes next.
State Department Spokesman Matthew Miller said the Palestinian people must be front and center in any decision-making process, with the ultimate goal of establishing an independent Palestinian state.
“We want to see an establishment State of Palestine which unifies the West Bank and unifies Gaza so that the Palestinian people can determine their own future. This is the principle we will strive to achieve.”
Miller said such decisions should rest with the Palestinian people — not the United States or Israel.
A reporter pressed Miller on his comments, noting that they appeared to be at odds with Prime Minister Netanyahu who said the Israeli military would maintain security control of Gaza and remain there indefinitely.
“Ultimately, at the end of the conflict, there has to be a larger conversation with the government of Israel, with the Palestinian people and with other countries in the region about the way forward,” Miller said.
“On the one hand, we are very clear about what that path cannot be – a return to Hamas rule in Gaza and a safe haven for terrorist attacks from Israel. You heard from Hamas leaders, even last week saying that they repeated a series of October 7 wants to turn on.”
Hamas, an Iranian-backed terrorist group, attacked Israel on October 7. More than 1,300 Israelis were killed in the attack, thousands more were injured, and many were taken hostage by Hamas and raped, tortured and killed.
Hamas was elected to power by the Palestinian people in 2007 and quickly began a harsh reign of terror. In the 16 years since, Hamas has ruled the Gaza Strip with an iron fist, seeking to impose Sharia law on the people.
Hamas is internationally recognized as a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union and many other countries.
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