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Blinken reiterates US opposition to Israel or Hamas running post-war Gaza

US secretary of state lists ‘key elements’ in order to create ‘durable peace and security’ after Israel’s Gaza war.

Gaza cannot be run by either Israel or Hamas once the continuing conflict is over, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said, reiterating the stance of the White House.

Speaking to reporters after G7 foreign ministers held talks in Japan on Wednesday, Blinken listed “key elements” necessary to create “durable peace and security,” with the US appearing keen to open a conversation on post-conflict scenarios.

There should be “no forcible displacement of Palestinians from Gaza, not now, not after the war; no use of Gaza as a platform for terrorism or other violent attacks; no reoccupation of Gaza after the conflict ends,” he stressed.

The US official also warned against an “attempt to blockade or besiege Gaza” or any “reduction in the territory of Gaza”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested on Monday that Israel would take control of security in Gaza after the war.

However, US officials said the following day that President Joe Biden does not support “a reoccupation by Israeli forces”.

Blinken doubled down on that message. He also reiterated Washington’s view that Gaza could not be run by Hamas, the group that currently rules the enclave.

“That simply invites repetition of October 7,” he said, referring to the group’s deadly attack on Israel that prompted the retaliatory bombardment of Gaza that has killed more than 10,000 people in the Palestinian territory.

“Now, the reality is that there may be a need for some transition period at the end of the conflict … We don’t see a reoccupation and what I’ve heard from Israeli leaders, is that they have no intent to reoccupy Gaza,” he added.

‘Palestinian affair’

On Tuesday, Hamas said in response to US statements that it could not be part of the ruling equation in the Gaza Strip that the enclave’s governance is a “pure Palestinian affair”.

“Governing Gaza or part of our land is a Palestinian affair, and no force will be able to change reality or impose its will,” Hamas spokesman Abdul-Latif al-Qanou said.

“Hamas is a national liberation movement and resides in every Palestinian home,” al-Qanou said. “Hamas is an integral part of our people and has the right to resist the occupation in accordance with all laws and customs.”

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