Israel-Hamas war: Gaza invasion deepens as conflict’s death toll rises
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Israel should not reoccupy Gaza, after an assertion by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Israel could assume responsibility for Gaza’s security “for an indefinite period.” “Gaza cannot continue to be run by Hamas,” Blinken said. “It’s also clear that Israel cannot occupy Gaza,” he told reporters. Blinken, who left open the possibility of a “transition period” after the war, said it is “imperative that the Palestinian people be central to the governance of Gaza and the West Bank.” Blinken spoke in Tokyo, where the Group of Seven nations backed the U.S. push for “humanitarian pauses” in Israel’s assault on Gaza, stopping short of calling for a cease-fire. Netanyahu’s recent comments set off red flags for the Biden administration, whose stance is that Israel needs to avoid any suggestion of an open-ended occupation, U.S. officials said on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive internal discussions.