The United States does not believe the Palestinian Hamas group can be involved in the future governance of the Gaza Strip when the war with Israel is over, the White House said on Wednesday.
White House national security spokesperson John Kirby, speaking to reporters as President Joe Biden flew to Minnesota, also said the United States does not support a permanent settlement of Gaza civilians outside of Gaza, which has been run by Hamas.
With the civilian death count rising in Gaza in the Israel-Hamas war, Kirby said Washington does not believe now is the time for a general ceasefire, but that humanitarian pauses in hostilities are necessary.
As the United States and its allies and partners discuss options for post-war Gaza, Kirby said having Hamas in charge would be problematic in the wake of its slaughter of 1,400 people in southern Israel on Oct. 7.
“We do believe that Hamas cannot be the future of governance in Gaza. They can’t,” said Kirby. “What comes after the conflict, we don’t have all the answers yet but we are working with our partners in the region to explore what governance in Gaza can and should look like.”
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