United States Vice President Kamala Harris stressed that Washington has “absolutely no intention” of sending troops to Israel or Gaza amid the ongoing conflict, CNN reported on Sunday.
“We have absolutely no intention, nor do we have any plans, to send combat troops into Israel or Gaza, period,” Harris said in an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes” that aired on Sunday when asked about the potential for US troops to be drawn into a war in the region.
Harris, who has been engaged in discussions and phone conversations concerning the Middle East crisis, expressed full support for the government’s plans. Harris said that she supports Israel’s right to defend itself while also advocating for the protection of civilians, as reported by CNN.
“By most estimates, at least 1,400 Israelis are dead. Israel, without any question, has a right to defend itself,” she said.
“That being said, it is very important that there be no conflation between Hamas and the Palestinians. The Palestinians deserve equal measures of safety and security, self-determination and dignity, and we have been very clear that the rules of war must be adhered to and that there be humanitarian aid that flows,” CNN quoted Harris as saying.
Earlier on Sunday, US President Joe Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and discussed the developments in Gaza.
Biden reiterated that Israel has every right to defend its citizens from terrorism. The two leaders discussed ongoing efforts to locate and secure the release of hostages. Biden underscored the need to immediately and significantly increase the flow of humanitarian assistance to meet the needs of civilians in Gaza.
Amid concerns about the conflict spreading beyond Gaza, Harris also repeated Biden’s warnings to Iran not to get involved.
“Don’t,” she said. “One word. Pretty straightforward.” Regarding questions about the possibility of President Biden not completing his term and who might replace him, Harris stated that she wouldn’t engage in “hypotheticals” and affirmed her focus on the job at hand.
“I’m not going to engage in that hypothetical because Joe Biden is very much alive and running for re-elections,” she said.
“I hear from a lot of different people, a lot of different things. But let me just tell you, I’m focused on the job. I truly am. Our democracy is on the line. … And I, frankly, in my head do not have time for parlour games when we have a president who is running for re-election. That’s it,” Harris added.