Sullivan Tells Netanyahu To Wrap Up ‘High Intensity’ Gaza Fighting Within Weeks

Sullivan Tells Netanyahu To Wrap Up ‘High Intensity’ Gaza Fighting Within Weeks

For the first time this week, the White House has begun putting rare pressure on the Netanyahu government – after Biden earlier offered the criticism that “indiscriminate” bombing in Gaza could turn the world against Israel. National security advisor Jake Sullivan is currently in Tel Aviv meeting with Israel’s war cabinet, and it appears he too is delivering a message of pushback (or at least the appearance).

Sullivan reportedly conveyed that Israel’s military needs to wrap of the current “high intensity” phase of its offensive “within weeks”. This according to Israeli officials who spoke to the Times of Israel

Via Israel Government Press Office

Apparently Sullivan went so far as to express that the US desires for this phase to stop by year’s end, which is only two weeks away. “A second Israeli official says the US has pushed for the current phase to wrap up by the end of 2023,” the TOI report said. 

The US wants a “major roll back” in fighting within that period, the Israeli source was cited as saying. White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby appeared to confirm the report in a press briefing when asked about it, but was light on the details.

He said that Sullivan “did talk about the possible transitioning from what we would call high intensity operations — which is what we’re seeing them do now — to lower intensity operations sometime in the near future.”

But I don’t want to put a timestamp on that. The last thing we want to do is telegraph to Hamas what they’re likely to face in the coming weeks and months,” Kirby added. So clearly the administration wasn’t willing to say publicly that a timeline of “weeks” had been supposedly attached to the request. 

However, going into Sullivan’s meeting with the war cabinet, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant made clear to the US side in public remarks that the war to eradicate Hamas in Gaza will take “more than several months.” He also didn’t specify whether Israel is also approaching this in “phases”.

.@PhilipWegmann: “I wanted to follow up on your comments about the Palestinian Authority remaining in governance…[A]s Congress puts together an aid package for Ukraine & Israel, does [Biden] want to see the Taylor Force Act remain in effect or is he open to U.S. aid going… pic.twitter.com/9oPqIl5JW3

— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) December 14, 2023

Local Israeli media is also making clear the Israeli officials are still pushing for the establishment of an international peacekeeping force to administer Gaza for the ‘day after’ Hamas.

The two allies are still publicly at odds over Washington’s desire to see the Palestinian Authority (PA) under Mahmoud Abbas step in and rule Gaza. The Netanyahu has made clear it doesn’t want that scenario, putting it on a collision course with Washington.

Tyler Durden
Thu, 12/14/2023 – 21:20

 

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