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US, Israel discuss ‘different phase’ of war

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan met Tuesday to discuss shifting "to a different phase" of the Israel-Hamas war with Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs Ron Dermer, a White House official said.


The meeting provided an opportunity to talk about steps to improve the humanitarian situation in war-torn Gaza and minimize harm to civilians, according to the official, who did not wish to be named.

It was also meant as a chance to speak on “the transition to a different phase of the war to maximize focus on high-value Hamas targets,” the official said, referring to the Palestinian militant group.

The discussion comes after the UN Security Council agreed last week to a watered-down resolution calling for aid to be delivered to the Gaza Strip “at scale.”

Gaza’s 2.4 million people are suffering dire shortages of water, food, fuel and medicine, with only limited aid entering.

The bloodiest-ever Gaza war erupted when Hamas attacked southern Israel on October 7 and killed about 1,140 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli figures.

They took 250 hostages of whom 129 remain inside Gaza. The effort to bring these home was also among the topics on the table at the Sullivan-Dermer meeting.

After the Hamas attack, Israel launched an extensive aerial bombardment and a siege followed by a ground invasion. The campaign has killed 20,915 people, according to Hamas-run Gaza’s health ministry.

The Tuesday meeting additionally provided a chance for Israel and the United States to talk about the eventual “governance and security in Gaza, a political horizon for the Palestinian people, and continued work on normalization and integration,” the White House official said.

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