Wed 12 Jun 2024 9:18 pm - Jerusalem Time

Sullivan confirms US commitment to removing Hamas from power in Gaza

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on Tuesday that the administration of US President Joe Biden remains committed to removing Hamas from power in Gaza, a goal he said Washington aims to achieve through a ceasefire agreement and a new political arrangement in Gaza.

In response to a question at the global forum of the American Jewish Committee, one of the most important and largest Israeli lobbies in Washington, DC, whether the administration is still seeking to completely remove Hamas from power, Sullivan answered in the affirmative. Sullivan continued: “President Joe Biden explicitly said that the way forward is Gaza, where Hamas is no longer in power,” according to what the Jewish Telegraph newspaper published.

The organizations had protested that the administration's views on this matter seemed confused and somewhat hazy after Biden announced that Israel had already largely achieved its goals by weakening Hamas' ability to launch another attack similar to the attack that occurred on October 7, Without fully addressing the future of Hamas in Gaza.

Sullivan said that by working through the three phases of Biden's ceasefire agreement, "we could end up with an interim security institution and an interim governance institution that could lead to a Gaza that is no longer a platform for terrorism."

It is noteworthy that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that Israel will not agree to a permanent ceasefire before “destroying Hamas’ military and governance capabilities... and ensuring that Gaza no longer poses a threat to Israel.”

Sullivan also noted that a ceasefire agreement in Gaza could lead to "calm in Lebanon" and a "diplomatic arrangement" that would allow tens of thousands of Israelis evacuated from their homes in the northern part of the country to return home.

According to Sullivan, the US National Security Advisor also said that Arab countries could be prepared to play an “important role in stabilizing and rebuilding” Gaza and “start on the path” to normalization with Israel.

“That work could begin in the days after that deal,” Sullivan said.

But Sullivan did not speculate on the chances of Israeli-Saudi normalization before the November 5 elections - which many in Washington described as a decisive window - but he said that the administration “will go down this path as quickly as possible” on a bipartisan basis, according to the newspaper.

In response to the administration's increasing criticism of and disengagement with Israel, Sullivan insisted that "anyone who thinks he is going to drive a wedge between the president and Israel on the fundamental issue of Israel's security is mistaken," insisting that the differences were over "tactical" and "operational" issues that the United States believes It is in Israel's interest.

He stressed that the administration had not taken any action in the UN Security Council that would “contrary to our policy” or that would “create any challenges for Israel to continue doing what it felt it needed to do to defeat Hamas.”

Sullivan said that the administration will not "back inch" from its position in support of Israel's efforts to combat Hamas, rescue hostages, and kill terrorist leaders, "but we will also speak out when we have concerns," noting that "Israel" and Israeli leaders have no problem speaking out. "We speak out about the United States when they have concerns about things we do."

In response to a question about Israeli doubts about the two-state solution in the wake of October 7, Sullivan said that the United States is working to address those concerns, but he also described the American push for the two-state solution as preceding the October 7 attack and coming within “the vision of normalization and integration for this region.” .

He stressed that regional integration would be a major opportunity to confront the primary regional threat posed by Iran, but it depended on "Israel's ability to work on a negotiated basis... over time towards the establishment of a Palestinian state."

Sullivan said, "The Palestinian state cannot be recognized or imposed unilaterally, and must include conditions to ensure Israel's security," according to the newspaper.

He also stressed that the administration is “ready to take a full range of measures,” including military action, “to respond to Iranian aggression in every theater.”

Sullivan's appearance before the American Jewish Committee got off to a dramatic start, as anti-Israel protesters stormed the stage and attempted to take over the stage.


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Sullivan confirms US commitment to removing Hamas from power in Gaza