Vice President Kamala Harris drew a line in the sand on Saturday, declaring that the “under no circumstances” would the Biden administration “permit the forced relocation of Palestinians from Gaza or the West Bank, the besiegement of Gaza, or the redrawing of the borders of Gaza.”
She made her remarks during a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, according to a White House readout of the conversation.
The meeting took place in Dubai, where world leaders are gathered for the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, known as COP28.
The readout noted that Harris lauded Sisi for helping broker a temporary ceasefire between Israel and Hamas fighters, adding that the deal “provided an extended pause in the fighting and which resulted in the release of more than 100 hostages, including Americans, while substantially increasing the flow of humanitarian assistance into Gaza.”
Harris blamed Hamas for first ending the ceasefire by firing rockets into Israel this week. The Israeli military also stepped up airstrikes on the Gaza Strip on Friday and Saturday, killing at least 200 people, local officials claimed.
The readout said that the United States will continue to seek the release of the remaining hostages, who were captured by Hamas during their attack on Israel on October 7.
As Israel expands its military operations—and as concerns grow that the fighting with Iran-backed Hezbollah fighters will escalate on Israel’s border with Lebanon—Harris sought to begin strategizing about how to stabilize Gaza post-conflict.
“She emphasized that these efforts can only succeed if they are pursued in the context of a clear political horizon for the Palestinian people towards a state of their own led by a revitalized Palestinian Authority and have significant support from the international community and the countries of the region,” the readout recounted.
Harris further argued that Hamas, which controls Gaza, must relinquish its grip on power. The alternative, she said, is “untenable for Israel’s security, the well-being of the Palestinian people, and regional security.”
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