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Top Biden aide asserts US-backed ceasefire deal can remove Hamas from Gaza

Jake Sullivan

Sullivan said a ceasefire in Gaza could open a ‘strategic opportunity’ for Israel, which would include ‘normalization’ with countries such as Saudi Arabia

By Corey Walker, The Algemeiner

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on Tuesday argued that the ceasefire deal currently being pushed by President Joe Biden to end the fighting between Israel and Hamas could result in the removal of the Palestinian terrorist group from power in the Gaza Strip.

Sullivan made the comments while speaking to a packed crowd at the American Jewish Committee Global Forum 2024 event. He asserted that the ceasefire plan will lead to a Gaza where “Hamas is no longer in power.”

The top White House adviser stated that the deal will pave the path for an “interim security enterprise” and an “interim governance enterprise” that will eradicate the terrorist threat within Gaza.

Sullivan also claimed that the plan will help bolster Israel’s security concerns while improving Palestinian living standards.

On May 31, the Biden administration unveiled a new ceasefire deal to resolve the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.

The three-phase deal would ultimately establish a permanent ceasefire in Gaza and flood the war-torn enclave with international aid to kickstart the rebuilding process.

However, the proposal would seemingly leave a weakened form of Hamas in power, a condition that Israel has repeatedly refused to accept.

Hamas leaders have also expressed doubt about deal, arguing they will not accept any arrangement that requires their disarmament.

Sullivan underlined the importance of securing the freedom of the remaining Israeli hostages in Gaza, citing the “pain and the agony” of their family members.

He argued that removing the hostages from the clutches of Hamas is the Biden administration’s most pressing priority.

Beyond ending the war — which began with Hamas’ Oct. 7 invasion of southern Israel and rampage of violence — Sulllivan said a ceasefire in Gaza could open a “strategic opportunity” for Israel.

The White House adviser explained that Israel’s Arab neighbors could “play a significant role in both stabilizing and reconstructing Gaza.”

In addition, he said, ending the war in Gaza could open “the pathway for Israel’s full integration into the region” which would include “normalization” with countries such as Saudi Arabia.

The “end result,” he argued, would embed Israel in a “regional security architecture” which would also help Europe and the United States in combating “common adversaries” such as Iran.

Sullivan added that the UN Security Council’s decision to pass the ceasefire proposal has placed additional pressure on Hamas to come to the table. However, he stressed, agreement from both sides of the conflict is “not a foregone conclusion.”

Noting the “work painstakingly done by the Biden administration,” Sullivan said the UN Security Council vote created a “diplomatic opening” that allowed the US to work with international partners to place the “spotlight” on Hamas.

While acknowledging that the Israeli government and public are apprehensive towards taking steps to establish a Palestinian state after the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks, Sullivan argued that a two-state solution is necessary to bolster the Jewish state’s long-term security.

“From the United States’ perspective, this is by far the most effective way to secure Israel over the long-term and to prevail in the long-term contest between friends and adversaries in this region,” Sullivan said.

Israel has acknowledged the Biden-backed ceasefire is flawed but indicated it supports the proposal, pledging it won’t stop its war effort until all the hostages kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists on Oct. 7 are freed and Hamas’ military and governing capabilities are destroyed.

On Tuesday, mediators Egypt and Qatar said they received a response from Hamas to the US ceasefire plan for Gaza. While details were not made publicly available, Reuters reported that Hamas proposed a new timeline for the deal.

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