Pentagon in early talks on plans to fund peacekeeping force in Gaza – report

The Pentagon is in early “conversations” on potential plans to fund a peacekeeping force in the Gaza Strip, Politico reports, citing two Defense Department officials and two other US officials.

According to the report, Biden administration officials are in preliminary talks on security and stability in post-war Gaza and are considering a number of options, “including a proposal for the Pentagon to help fund either a multinational force or a Palestinian peacekeeping team.”

No US troops would be involved, the officials tell Politico. Pentagon funds could go toward the needs of the force and complement funding from other countries, the report says.

A senior administration official tells Politico: “We are working with partners on various scenarios for interim governance and security structures in Gaza once the crisis recedes. We’ve had a number of conversations with both the Israelis and our partners about key elements for the day after in Gaza when the time is right.”

Asked about reports that the US is in talks to advance a peacekeeping force in Gaza, US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller declines to comment on the private discussions.

However, he says, “The work we have been doing with our Arab partners is to put together a concrete proposal of what post-conflict governance would look like, both as it pertains to security in Gaza, the reconstruction of Gaza and a political path forward for the Palestinian people that answers their very legitimate aspirations.”

“As part of that, we have had discussions with Saudi Arabia about how to further integrate Israel with its neighbors, including with Saudi Arabia. That work continues, but at some point, our goal is to have something to put on the table for Israel to look,” he adds.

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