The United States opposes the creation of a buffer zone in Gaza, according to State Department spokesman Matthew Miller. This position was clarified in response to reports that Israel had plans for a buffer zone within Gaza. Miller emphasized the need for no reduction in the size of Gaza and stated that any proposed buffer zone inside Gaza would be a violation and is opposed by the US.
Miller also discussed the Biden administration’s vision for Gaza’s future, stating that there will need to be a transition period to prevent a security vacuum. However, he emphasized that control of the territory must ultimately be in the hands of the Palestinians, and that there must be an increase in the capability of the Palestinian Authority security forces for this to happen.
Additionally, Miller stated that Israel would need to withdraw from Gaza once an appropriate security and governmental structure was in place. He emphasized that Gaza and the West Bank must be part of an independent Palestinian state, and there can be no re-occupation of Gaza.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed in a statement that the Palestinian Authority and President Mahmoud Abbas will not rule Gaza. He rejected the idea of the PA assuming power in Gaza, stating that as long as he is the prime minister of Israel, this will never happen.
Netanyahu’s statements come amid international debate following Israel’s military campaign to oust Hamas from Gaza, during which he has insisted that the PA cannot govern Gaza and that only the IDF should be in charge of its security.