The United States insists on demanding that Israel do more to protect the population in Gaza, but in the meantime it is also focusing on the “day after” the war. US Vice President Kamala Harris held a series of diplomatic meetings with Arab leaders over the weekend to discuss post-conflict prospects in the Strip, while Tel Aviv called for greater efforts to protect Palestinian civilians from the “destructive” forces of bombings. “The United States’ message is unambiguous: international humanitarian law must be respected. Too many innocent Palestinians have been killed,” Harris noted before departing Dubai, where, in addition to dealing with COP28, he aimed to weave the American diplomatic cloth over the conflict in the Middle East.
To this end, Joe Biden’s second-in-command met with UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and King Abdullah of Jordan, and spoke on the phone with Qatar’s leader, the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. . The five American post-conflict principles were emphasized: “No forced transfer, no reoccupation, no siege, no reduction of territory, and no use of the Gaza Strip as a platform for terrorism.” Principles that President Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken have long aspired to, even if the priorities at the moment are releasing hostages and changing the Jewish state’s strategy. “As Israel continues to achieve its military objectives in Gaza, we believe it must do more to protect innocent civilians,” Harris reiterated. On his return trip to Washington, the US Vice President spoke by phone with Israeli President Isaac Herzog and Palestinian Authority President Abu Mazen. He reiterated to Herzog “the United States’ strong support for Israel’s right to self-defense, but also the importance of planning for the next day in Gaza, stressing its commitment to the two-state solution.” He reiterated to Abu Mazen support for the two-state solution, as well as American support “for the Palestinian people and their right to security, dignity, and self-determination.” Yesterday, a delegation of White House officials arrived in Israel to discuss the post-conflict situation. The group – led by Philip Gordon, Harris’ national security adviser – will meet with Israel’s national security adviser and the Minister of Strategic Affairs, then travel to Ramallah to meet with Abu Mazen. Surprisingly, Russian President Vladimir Putin will also be in Saudi Arabia and the UAE this week where he will meet, among others, Bin Salman. With the exception of China and Kyrgyzstan, this is Putin’s first foreign trip since the international arrest warrant was issued.
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