As IDF Reaches Gaza Milestone, White House Sanctions Israeli 'Extremists,' Presses for Palestinian State

JERUSALEM, Israel – Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant says the Israel Defense Forces reached a major military milestone: the defeat of Hamas in Khan Younis, the second largest city in the Gaza Strip, and home to many in the Hamas top leadership.

Now, Gallant says the IDF is moving on to their next targets.

He declared, “The (Hamas) Khan Younis Brigade boasted that it would stand strong against the IDF. Today it is dismantled. And I’m telling you that we are completing the mission in Khan Younis, and we will also reach Rafah (at the Egyptian border) and we will eliminate anyone who’s there, who is a terrorist, who is trying to attack us.“

On the diplomatic battlefield, the U.S. State Department kept up its push for a Palestinian state and the implementation of a two-state solution.

Thomas Friedman of The New York Times reported on what he says it part of the Biden Doctrine for “an unprecedented diplomatic initiative to promote a Palestinian state – now – and “stop letting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hold our policy hostage.”

U.K. Foreign Minister David Cameron said on Thursday his country would recognize a Palestinian state.

“That has long been our position,” Cameron stated. “And of course, as part of that, Britain, along with other countries, would recognize Palestine as a country and recognize Palestine at the United Nations.” 

Britain’s top diplomat said the U.K. could make recognition official after a ceasefire in Gaza without waiting for negotiations to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Netanyahu has rejected the diplomatic offensive for a Palestinian state, along with the rest of the government and the majority of Israeli people, oppose it because their husbands, sons and daughters are fighting the people who would make up that state.

In an unprecedented move Thursday, President Joe Biden issued an executive order that targets Israelis in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) who have been accused of attacking Palestinians there.

State Department Spokesman Matthew Miller announced, “We will also take action on behalf of the United States, both against those who engage in settler violence and extremist settler violence that have been prosecuted by governors, and others who have not.”

In a statement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted that “the vast majority of residents of Judea and Samaria are law-abiding citizens, many of whom are fighting right now in active and reserve duty to protect Israel. Israel acts against all violators of the law in all places and therefore there is no place for drastic steps on this matter.”

Some believe the action comes from election-year considerations since Biden has been losing support among Arab Americans, especially in Michigan, where he campaigned this week.

Meanwhile, U.S. negotiators are pushing for a plan that could release more hostages with an extended ceasefire.

Zivka Mo, whose son Eitan is a hostage, cautioned, “The last time we (Israel) did a ceasefire, (we) lost, we lost a lot of soldiers after that because (Hamas) put bombs all over the areas there (in Gaza).”

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