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White House reiterates commitment to ending Gaza war 'as soon as possible'

Anadolu Agency AMERICAS
Published May 29,2024
National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby (AFP File Photo)

The White House responded Wednesday to remarks by an Israeli official who said the war in the Gaza Strip would last for the rest of the year, reiterating the U.S.' position to achieve a deal to end the months-long conflict "as soon as possible."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's national security adviser Tzachi Hanegbi told Israeli public broadcaster KAN that the war is expected to continue until early 2025, possibly for another seven months.

"Israeli officials speak for themselves and for their assessments -- it's a war they're fighting. I can tell you that President Biden is committed to seeing that we find a way to end this conflict and to end it as soon as practicable," National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said during a briefing.

Kirby noted that there are hostages in Hamas' hands and other groups. "We got to get them home. We want to get them home in a deal tied to a cease-fire that we believe, if put in place, could lead to something more sustainable and a potential end of the conflict."

He said Biden is working to get the hostage deal done and a "fresh" proposal is now on the table.

"And we are doing everything we can to see if we can get that advanced because it could lead to the cease-fire in a temporary way that could also lead to something more sustained," said Kirby. "Our view is we gotta get this hostage deal. The time is now to do it, to get that temporary cease-fire and to end this conflict as soon as possible," he added.


The Israeli army claimed Wednesday to have gained full "operational control" over the Philadelphi Corridor -- a demilitarized buffer zone running along the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.

"When they briefed us on their plans for Rafah, it did include moving along that corridor and out of the city proper to put pressure on Hamas in the city," said Kirby.

"So, I can't confirm whether they've seized the corridor or not, but I can tell you that their movements along the corridor did not come as a surprise to us and was in keeping with what we understood their plan to be to go after Hamas in a targeted limited way, not a concentrated way," he said.

The Israeli army said its forces are located in most of the Corridor, except for a small section near the coast and Tel al-Sultan in western Rafah.

Asked about reports that a U.S.-manufactured munition was employed in the lethal Rafah strike on a camp for displaced Palestinians, Kirby pointed to the Israeli military's statement.

"I cannot confirm whether or not it was a GBU-39 that delivered the payload on that bomb. You'd have to really talk to the IDF about that," said Kirby.

An analysis of video footage and a review by explosive weapons experts who spoke to CNN revealed that munitions manufactured in the U.S. were used in the deadly Israeli airstrike Sunday that killed more than 45 victims.

In one video on social media, which was confirmed to be the same location by matching details such as the camp's entrance sign and ground tiles, the tail of a U.S.-made GBU-39 small diameter bomb (SDB) is visible, according to four experts who reviewed the footage.