The US rejects the buffer zone that Israel wants to build in Gaza. Photo/Reuters
GAZA – The United States (US) will reject the proposed buffer zone in the Gaza Strip because it would violate Washington’s position which states that the Palestinian enclave should not be reduced after the current conflict. This was confirmed by State Department spokesman Matthew Miller.
Reuters reported last week that Israel had told several Arab countries that it wanted to create a buffer zone on the Palestinian side of the Gaza border to prevent future attacks as part of its proposals for the territory after the war ends.
Speaking at a daily news conference, Miller said one of Washington’s guiding principles for Gaza’s future is its opposition to reducing the densely populated enclave.
“So if there was a proposed buffer zone within Gaza, that would be a violation of that principle and something we oppose. “If it has to do with something that’s inside Israel, I’m not going to talk about it – that’s a decision that Israel has to make,” Miller told reporters.
There should be a transition period after the end of major combat operations, Miller said, to avoid a “security vacuum” but this should be temporary, although he could not outline the parameters of what such a period would look like.
The conflict broke out on October 7 when Hamas crossed into southern Israel and killed 1,200 people, mostly civilians, in anger against kibbutzim and other communities. More than 200 hostages were taken back to Gaza.
Israel, which has vowed to wipe out Hamas once and for all, responded with a bombing campaign and ground offensive that has devastated much of Gaza and killed more than 15,000 people.