US is against reoccupation of Gaza by Israeli forces, says senior US official

A senior US government official has reiterated President Joe Biden's position on post-conflict Gaza, saying that reoccupation of the Palestinian-controlled area by Israeli forces is "not the right thing to do."

In a news conference on Tuesday, White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby referred to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's interview with ABC News on Monday.

The anchor asked the Israeli prime minister who should govern Gaza when the ongoing fighting between Israeli forces and the Palestinian Islamic group Hamas ends.

Netanyahu replied he thinks that Israel will have the overall security responsibility for an indefinite period, "because we've seen what happens when we don't have it." He did not elaborate on details but suggested continued Israeli engagement in Gaza.

Commenting on the ABC interview, Kirby said the US side is having active discussions with its Israeli counterparts about what post-conflict Gaza will look like. He said it was up to the Israeli prime minister to explain what he meant by "indefinite period."

Kirby said, "President Biden's been very clear. We don't support a reoccupation of Gaza by the Israeli Defense Forces."

He added, "What we support is that Hamas can't be in control of Gaza anymore."