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US understands Hamas is seeking to provoke unrest on Gaza border — official

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Palestinians run from tear gas fired by Israeli security forces along the border fence, east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, on August 25, 2021. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)
Palestinians run from tear gas fired by Israeli security forces along the border fence, east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, on August 25, 2021. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)

WASHINGTON — American officials understand that Hamas is provoking unrest in the Gaza border area, an Israeli official says.

He adds that the US is sending messages to Hamas through all the relevant channels, demanding the terror organization cease its provocations.

The remarks come ahead of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, during which the premier will stress that his goal is maintaining stability, and avoiding drastic steps.

Bennett will not agree to negotiations with PA President Mahmoud Abbas, but is working to improve conditions for the Palestinian population.

The Israeli official emphasizes that Bennett will not agree to any building freeze in the West Bank, but will also make no moves toward annexation.

During his Pentagon meeting with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Bennett will discuss arms procurement and IDF force design.

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