US argues continued Israeli military engagement in Gaza ‘makes Israel weaker’

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

Troops of the 401st Armored Brigade operate in southern Gaza's Rafah, in a handout photo published June 23, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces)
Troops of the 401st Armored Brigade operate in southern Gaza's Rafah, in a handout photo published June 23, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces)

WASHINGTON — The US comes out against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to “continue mowing the lawn” in Gaza after the war against Hamas ends.

“Continued military engagement in Gaza [is] just a recipe for continued conflict, continued instability, and continued insecurity for Israel,” US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller says when asked about Netanyahu’s comments last night during a Channel 14 interview.

The prime minister claimed Israel would need to maintain overall security control over Gaza after the war and enter the Strip as needed in order to ensure that Hamas can’t revive its presence in Gaza.

“It is obviously extremely harmful to the people of Gaza who want to be able to rebuild their lives and rebuild their homes and want to be able to chart a different future,” Miller begins.

“But we also think continued military action in Gaza Just makes Israel weaker. It makes it harder to achieve a resolution in the north, it adds to instability in the West Bank, it makes it harder for Israel to normalize relations with its neighbors. That’s why we will continue to put forward what we believe is an alternative path that actually helps Israel’s security, not one that weakens it,” Miller says.

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