John Kirby
John KirbyREUTERS/Jim Bourg

White House National Security Council Spokesperson John Kirby was asked on Friday about Israel's post-war plans, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented his proposal for the "day after" Hamas, which was discussed by the Political-Security Cabinet on Thursday.

"I'm going to defer to Israel to speak to the specificity of these plans. What I can speak to is our views, and we've been clear about what our views are. We have had constructive discussions with the Israelis on all these issues over recent weeks, where we have of course continued to make clear positions, including where those views and our positions diverge from them," Kirby told reporters, as quoted by Haaretz.

While Kirby did not comment on the specifics of the outline presented by Netanyahu, he did say that the Biden administration does not believe in reducing the size of Gaza or the forced displacement of any residents.

"Of course, we don't want to see Gaza dominated, ruled or governed over by Hamas. Those are very consistent positions, we still hold to them," Kirby said. "And as I said earlier, we made that consistently clear with our Israeli counterparts."

Asked about Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria, after Israel announced it would approve thousands of new housing units in response to the shooting attack near Maaleh Adumim, Kirby replied, "Frankly, they're inconsistent with international law."

"This isn't about the previous administration. We're simply reaffirming the fundamental conclusion that these settlements are inconsistent with international law. This has been consistent over a range of Republican and Democratic administrations. If there was an administration that was inconsistent, it was the previous one," Kirby said in response to the Trump administration’s policies on settlements.

On Friday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reversed the policy set by the Trump administration and said Washington views the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria as “inconsistent with international law”.

Speaking at a news conference during a trip to Buenos Aires, Blinken said the United States was disappointed by Israel's announcement of plans to approve new housing units in Judea and Samaria.

Blinken thus effectively revoked the so-called “Pompeo Doctrine”, which deemed Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria “not per se inconsistent with international law.”

In 2019, then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo implemented the policy, overturning a 1978 memo by State Department legal adviser Herbert Hansell, which characterized “settlements” as “illegal”.

Kirby in his briefing on Friday was also asked about the talks on a hostage release deal that are taking place in Paris.

"We believe that the discussions and negotiations to date have been constructive. Obviously, they have not been conclusive because we don't have a deal in place. But the fact that these negotiations are still ongoing, and that people are in fact sitting together to try to hash it out, is a good thing," he replied.

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)