update deskU.S.-Israel Relations

In Israel, Sullivan lauds Palestinian Authority, reminds Israel about US view on Rafah

The U.S. national security advisor met on Sunday and Monday with Israeli and Palestinian officials.

Jake Sullivan, the U.S. national security advisor, at the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem on Jan. 19, 2023. Credit: U.S. Embassy Jerusalem.
Jake Sullivan, the U.S. national security advisor, at the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem on Jan. 19, 2023. Credit: U.S. Embassy Jerusalem.

U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan met on Sunday with Palestinian officials in Judea and Samaria and on Monday with Israeli officials in the Jewish state.

He talked about the “crisis in Gaza and efforts to end the fighting through a hostage deal and to increase the flow of humanitarian assistance” with Hussein Al-Sheikh, secretary general of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, and Mohammad Mustafa, the Palestinian Authority prime minister, per a White House readout.

The trio also discussed “the new P.A. government’s reform agenda and the importance of the international community providing financial support to enable this new government to succeed,” and Sullivan praised the Palestinian Authority Security Forces for its “efforts” to “maintain stability in the West Bank,” according to the White House.

In Israel, Sullivan discussed “the situation in Gaza and the United States’s unwavering support for Israel” with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, opposition leader Yair Lapid, and War Cabinet members Benny Gantz and Gadi Eizenkot, per a second White House readout.

Sullivan “reiterated” U.S. President Joe Biden’s “longstanding position on Rafah” to Gallant and Halevi, who briefed the White House official “on new alternative approaches to defeating Hamas in Rafah to address the concerns that have been expressed by the U.S. side through the Strategic Consultative Group process,” per the White House.

“The two sides agreed to continue discussions” and Sullivan “reaffirmed the United States commitment to securing the release of all hostages held by Hamas,” it added.

The White House official also spoke of “the importance of Israel and Egypt concluding talks to reopen the Rafah crossing as soon as possible, and the need for Egypt to ensure the continued flow of humanitarian assistance through Kerem Shalom.”

Sullivan said in separate meetings with Gantz, Eizenkot and Lapid that Washington is committed to seeing Hamas defeated, all of the hostages released, and “the opportunity available for Israel to secure its future and people through a more integrated Middle East region.”

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