Blinken says US, others exploring options for future of Gaza after Hamas

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks in Tel Aviv, Tuesday Oct. 17, 2023, after an overnight meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Jacquelyn Martin/Pool via REUTERS/File PhotoWASHINGTON, Oct 31 (Reuters) – The United States and other countries are looking at “a variety of possible permutations” for the future of the Gaza Strip if Hamas militants are removed from control, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday.

Between those two positions were “a variety of possible permutations that we’re looking at very closely now, as are other countries,” Blinken said. “And if you can’t, then there are other temporary arrangements that may involve a number of other countries in the region. It may involve international agencies that would help provide for both security and governance,” Blinken said.

On Tuesday, Palestinian health officials said at least 50 Palestinians were killed when Israeli air strikes hit a densely populated refugee camp in north Gaza. Washington has been speaking with Israel, as well as other countries in the region on how to govern the Palestinian enclave if Israel triumphed on the battlefield, but a clear plan was yet to emerge.

Some of U.S. President Joe Biden’s aides are concerned that while Israel may craft an effective plan to inflict lasting damage to Hamas, it has yet to formulate an exit strategy.

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