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Updated January 15th, 2024 at 18:20 IST

White House Insists Israel Must Scale Back On Gaza Ground Operations As War Hits 100 Days

Washington has been in active talks with ally Israel “about a transition to low-intensity operations” in Gaza strip, Kirby said.

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Gaza Blinken Israel Hamas Palestine
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. | Image:X
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The White House on Sunday said that it is “the right time” for Israel to scale back its war on the besieged strip of Gaza as the war entered the 100th day. The remark came as the Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that Tel Aviv would continue its ground incursion to eliminate Hamas, and The Hague, Axis of evil, and nobody would stop the IDF from achieving its military goals.

As the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken wrapped up his Middle East tour to avert the Israel Hamas war from spiralling into a broader regional conflict, the White House National Security Council spokesman John F. Kirby told CBS broadcaster in a televised interview that Washington has been in active talks with ally Israel “about a transition to low-intensity operations” in Gaza strip. During his Middle East tour, US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken urged Israel to reduce the civilian toll in Gaza. 

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Met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss ongoing efforts to minimize civilian harm in Gaza, accelerate the delivery of humanitarian aid, end extremist violence, and work towards an independent Palestinian state. pic.twitter.com/c60d5ISLnT

— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) January 10, 2024

“The Secretary [Blinken] reaffirmed our support for Israel’s right to prevent the terrorist attacks of October 7 from being repeated and stressed the importance of avoiding further civilian harm and protecting civilian infrastructure in Gaza,” State Department spokesman Mathew Miller said in a statement following  Blinken’s meeting with Netanyahu and Israel’s war cabinet.

Kirby: ‘It’s the right time for that transition’

In remark made on the CBS’ ‘Face The Nation,’ Kirby said, “We believe it’s the right time for that transition. And we’re talking to them about doing that.” Tensions have ratcheted to an all time high in the Middle East as Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) neutralised at least three fighters of the Iran backed Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, involved in skirmishes on the Israel Lebanon border. Israel’s Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, at a presser, said “It’s been 100 days, yet we will not stop until we win.”

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US National Security Council spokesman, Kirby, said that Israel is taking “precursor steps” to minimise the civilian casualties in Gaza. "We have been talking to them intensely about a transition to low-intensity operations. We believe it's the right time for that transition," said Kirby. "They have done some precursory steps to try to kind of get to that point," Kirby said Sunday. "They're ... pulling some troops out, they're relying a little less on airstrikes."The death toll in Gaza has reached 23,000 as Israel continues to plummet the enclave in an effort to root out Hamas.

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Published January 15th, 2024 at 18:20 IST

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