Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer met with White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday night to discuss “the day after” the war against Hamas.
According to the White House, the discussion revolved around “efforts to free the remaining hostages held by Hamas”; plans for the day after the war, including administration and security in the Gaza Strip; and moving to another phase in the fighting aimed at targeting high-value Hamas targets.”
Israel and the United States have been at odds over Gaza’s post-war future, with the Biden administration taking the position that the Palestinian Authority is the best alternative to govern the enclave once Hamas is defeated.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated that there is no way the P.A. would be allowed to rule the Gaza Strip, noting it also supports terrorism.
The countries have also sent different messages on the next phase of the war, with the United States signaling it wants Israel to move to a less intense, more targeted approach while Israel expands its ground campaign and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi said Tuesday that the war will “continue for many more months.”
The United States has so far backed Israel’s military efforts, delivering more than 10,000 tons of military weapons and equipment to Israel since the start of the war on Oct. 7.
It has also been active in working to free the remaining hostages held by Hamas but has pushed Israel to increase humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip for the civilian population, even though some of it is reaching Hamas.
On Tuesday, U.S. President Joe Biden spoke with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
“The two leaders discussed the urgent effort to secure the release of all remaining hostages held by Hamas, including American citizens. The leaders also discussed the ongoing efforts to facilitate increased and sustained flows of life-saving access to humanitarian aid into Gaza,” the White House said.
Qatar and Egypt are acting as mediators between Israel and Hamas. A one-week ceasefire was broken earlier this month after Hamas renewed hostilities. Efforts to broker a new hostage exchange have so far failed to bear fruit.