Friday, December 15, 2023

US urges Israel to "shift" its Gaza attacks, but there are few specifics

 WASHINGTON: According to a senior US official on Thursday, US President Joe Biden and top national security adviser Jake Sullivan have discussed with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu scaling back Israel's high-intensity operations in Gaza.

The latest aspect of Washington's pressure campaign to do more to protect Gaza's 2.3 million residents, where Israel's retaliation for Hamas' attacks on October 7 has resulted in the deaths of nearly 19,000 people, according to Palestinian health officials, is a "shift" in strategy.

Sullivan told Israel's Station 12 TV that he had "useful" talks with Netanyahu about Israel moving to a more exact and designated period of the tasks, however declined to give subtleties or a timetable for the change.

The New York Times detailed Thursday that the US was pushing for a shift to happen before the year's over.

When questioned about that period of time, Biden responded, They shouldn't stop going after Hamas, but they should be more careful. I want them to concentrate on how to save civilian lives."

Israel beat the 25-mile (40-km) length of Gaza on Thursday as the over two-month-old clash extended on, releasing a helpful fiasco focusing on little end.

At a regular media briefing, White House spokesperson John Kirby informed reporters that Sullivan had discussed the possibility of moving to lower-intensity operations "in the near future," but he declined to provide a specific timetable.

He stated, "The last thing we want to do is convey to Hamas what they're likely to face in the coming weeks and months."

A US official told reporters later on Thursday that the shift could include "a shift in emphasis from high-tempo clearance operations, high-intensity clearance operations" to a lower intensity focus on high-value targets, with more intelligence-driven raids and "narrow, surgical military objectives."

The official added that discussions were underway with Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and other countries in the region regarding how to govern Gaza in the future. Such a shift would mark a significant turning point for a longer-term effort.

Biden on Thursday encouraged Israel to "be more cautious" in its assaults on Gaza and spotlight on saving non military personnel lives, a day after he cautioned Israel was beginning to lose support over its "unpredictable" bombarding of the Palestinian territory.

Sullivan this week told a Money Road Diary occasion that he would examine ways of downsizing the contention during his visit to Israel as well as Israel's plan for the conflict.

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