White House opposes reoccupation of Gaza as Netanyahu hints at possible hostage deal

 November 13, 2023

The Washington Examiner reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently suggested that "there could be" a possible deal to free the hundreds of hostages being held by Hamas.

The news comes amid growing tensions between his government and the White House over a potential re-occupation of Gaza. 

Netanyahu says wasn't "close at all" prior to ground operation beginning

According to the Examiner, Netanyahu's remarks came during an appearance this past weekend on NBC News's Meet the Press.

"I can say that we weren't close at all until we started the ground operation," the Israeli prime minister said when asked by host Kristen Welker about efforts to free the hostages.

"In fact, we heard that there is an impending deal of this kind or that kind, and then we learned that it was all hokum. It was nothing. But the minute we started the ground operation, things began to change."

Prime Minister: "We'll talk about" deal "when it's there"

While Netanyahu added that there is the potential for progress, he resisted a request from Welker to provide more details, stressing that "the less I say about it, the more I've increased the chances that it materializes."

"And it's a result of pressure, military pressure — the extraordinary work that the IDF is doing, putting pressure on the Hamas leadership," he continued.

"That's the one thing that might create a deal, and if a deal is available, well, we'll talk about it when it's there. We'll announce it if it's achieved," Netanyahu pledged.

The Israeli prime minister also said that his country's intelligence service knows "a great deal" about the situation but would not specify exactly where the hostages are being held.

U.S. National Security adviser: "No reoccupation of Gaza"

Netanyahu's statements came on the same day that U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan insisted that there should be "no reoccupation of Gaza" and "no forcible displacement of the Palestinian people."

"No reoccupation of Gaza, no forcible displacement of the Palestinian people," The Hill quoted Sullivan as telling CBS News "Face the Nation" anchor Margaret Brennan.

"Gaza can never be used as a base for terrorism in the future and Gaza’s territory should not be reduced," the Biden White House official stated.

The Hill noted how on Saturday Netanyahu declared at a press conference that Israel will retain "overall security control” in Gaza “including the capacity to go in whenever we want to eliminate terrorists who may pop up again."

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