Following the Vice President’s meetings with Arab leaders in Dubai on December 2, she directed her National Security Advisor, Dr. Phil Gordon, to travel to Israel December 4-5 to update Israeli officials on her meetings and continue our intensive consultations with Israel on the conflict with Hamas. Dr. Gordon will visit Ramallah, the West Bank on December 6 for meetings with senior Palestinian Authority officials. In Israel, Dr. Gordon met with President Isaac Herzog, War Cabinet Member Benny Gantz, National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi, Minister for Strategic Affairs Ron Dermer, observer in the War Cabinet Gadi Eisenkot, and opposition leader Yair Lapid.
Throughout his meetings, Dr. Gordon reiterated the Biden-Harris Administration’s resolute support for Israel’s right to defend itself in the face of the Hamas terrorist threat. He discussed Israeli military objectives and operations in Gaza and underscored the importance of adherence to international humanitarian law and the imperative of increased efforts to deliver humanitarian assistance and protect civilians. Dr. Gordon emphasized that Hamas is a barbaric terrorist organization and that no nation could accept the threat Hamas poses, and that we support Israel’s legitimate military objectives. Dr. Gordon underscored that the Biden-Harris Administration will continue to pursue every effort to secure the release of all hostages held by Hamas terrorists, including Americans. Dr. Gordon discussed the situation in the West Bank and expressed our concern with steps that could escalate tensions, including extremist settler violence.
On day-after planning, Dr. Gordon outlined the principles that the Vice President and the Biden-Harris Administration have publicly laid out and discussed efforts on reconstruction, security, and governance in Gaza after the phase of intensive fighting ends. Dr. Gordon made clear that the Palestinian people must have a meaningful political horizon and reiterated our commitment to a two-state solution. Dr. Gordon also discussed broader dynamics in the region and U.S. efforts to deter aggression and help prevent regional escalation.