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U.S. Gives Netanyahu Plan for Gaza Cool Reception

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan for Gaza received a “cool reception” in Washington yesterday. The plan, which seeks to turn over civil administration to Palestinians with no links to “terror” and maintain permanent Israeli military “freedom of action” in the Strip, was made public Thursday night, Feb. 22. U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said in response yesterday: “The Palestinian people should have a voice and a vote … through a revitalized Palestinian Authority,” pushing the U.S. position for a reformed Palestinian Authority to take over the governance of Gaza, reported the Times of Israel. Kirby said during a press briefing yesterday that the U.S. doesn’t “believe in a reduction of the size of Gaza … we don’t want to see any forcible displacement of Palestinians outside Gaza and, of course, we don’t want to see Gaza dominated or ruled or governed over by Hamas.”

Asked about the plan during a visit to Argentina, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he would “reserve judgment” until seeing all the details, but that Washington was against any “reoccupation” of Gaza after the war. “Gaza … cannot be a platform for terrorism. There should be no Israeli reoccupation of Gaza. The size of Gaza territory should not be reduced,” Blinken said in Buenos Aires.

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