U.S. and Israel agree combat in Gaza will take months amid growing American unease with death toll

U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan speaks during a press briefing at the White House RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — The United States agrees with Israel that the fight against Hamas will take months, but officials are discussing the timetable for scaling back from high-intensity combat to more precise ways of targeting the militant group’s leaders, a top U.S. envoy said Friday amid growing American unease about the mounting death toll in Gaza. Following talks with Israeli officials, U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss the besieged enclave’s postwar future, which, according to a senior U.S. official, could include bringing back Palestinian security forces driven from their jobs in Gaza by Hamas in its 2007 takeover. WATCH: Israel says Gaza war will continue ‘more than several months’ amid pressure for cease-fire American and Israeli officials have been vague in public about how Gaza will be run if Israel achieves its goal of ending Hamas control — and the idea, floated as one of several, appeared to be the first time Washington offered some detail on its vision for security arrangements in the enclave. Any role for Palestinian security forces in Gaza is bound to elicit strong opposition from Israel, which seeks to maintain an open-ended security presence there and says it won’t allow a postwar foothold for the Abbas-led Palestinian Authority, which administers parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank but is deeply unpopular with Palestinians. In meetings with Israeli leaders on Thursday and Friday, Sullivan discussed a timetable for winding down the intense combat phase of the war. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told Sullivan that it would take months to destroy Hamas, but did not say whether his estimate referred to the current phase of heavy airstrikes and ground battles. Sullivan […]

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