Shafaq News / Vice President Kamala Harris said in an interview that the US has “absolutely no intention” of sending American combat troops into Israel or Gaza amid fears over a wider regional conflict.
“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 Sunday.
Harris, who has been included in briefings and phone calls on the Middle East crisis, closely stuck to the administration’s approach: Supporting Israel’s right to defend itself while also calling for the protection of civilians.
“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.”
President Joe Biden has been increasing his calls to ramp up humanitarian aid into Gaza this weekend in conversations with world leaders. On Sunday, he spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi about the need for the continued flow of aid into Gaza and stressed the importance of protecting civilian lives.
The assault on Gaza has left thousands of Palestinian civilians dead and worsened the humanitarian crisis in the enclave. Aid has been slow to enter, and civilians, including hundreds of Americans, have been unable to leave. While some aid has made its way to Gaza, humanitarian workers say it’s a fraction of what’s required for the 2.2 million people crammed into the strip under a blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt.
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.”
In another portion of the interview, Harris dismissed questions about the prospect of Biden not making it to Election Day and said she didn’t have time for speculation about which Democrat may replace him.
“I’m not going to engage in that hypothetical because Joe Biden is very much alive and running for reelection,” 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 parlor games when we have a president who is running for reelection. That’s it,” she said.