Blinken says US opposes territorial change in Gaza
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday renewed opposition to territorial changes in the Gaza Strip as Israel pounds the territory, killing at least 25,400 Palestinians since 7 October.
Blinken, on a visit to Nigeria, was responding to repeated suggestions that Israel would create a buffer zone inside the Gaza Strip, a prospect that has stirred anger in the Arab world.
Blinken voiced understanding for temporary measures, saying that Israel had the "right" to prevent a repeat of the surprise Hamas attack.
"It is totally appropriate, something that we support, that those people be able to return to their homes and that the necessary security arrangements be in place to give them the confidence to do that," Blinken told reporters in Abuja.
"If there need to be transitional arrangements to enable that to happen, that's one thing," Blinken said.
"But when it comes to the permanent status of Gaza going forward, we have been very clear, we remain clear about not encroaching on its territory," he said.
The United States has been the main military and diplomatic backer of Israel, although it has pleaded with Israel to do more to protect civilians.
Around 70 percent of Gaza's staggering death toll has been women and children. At least 60,000 Palestinians have been wounded by Israel's onslaught amid a total besiegement of the enclave, where the entry of medicine and food is heavily restricted by Israel.