Top State Department official for Israel and Palestinian affairs to depart

The most senior State Department official dedicated to working on matters relating to the war in Gaza is set to leave in the coming days as the Israel-Hamas conflict continues to rage in its ninth month.

Andrew Miller who currently runs the Israeli and Palestinian portfolio at the department is leaving his role for personal reasons, sources familiar with his departure told CNN.

His departure comes as the Biden administration is growing considerably more frustrated with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and how Israel is conducting the war, while also continuing to defend the country on the international stage.

Miller has told State Department leadership he plans to leave at the end of June because he feels burned out and would like to spend more time with his wife and young daughter, sources said.

“Andrew brought deep experience and sharp perspective to the table every day. Everyone here is sorry to see him go, but we wish him well in his next endeavors,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said.

The Washington Post first reported Miller’s departure.

Miller has deep expertise on the region, included having served as the Director for Egypt and Israel Military Issues at the National Security Council during the Obama administration.

There have been about a dozen US government employees who have publicly resigned in protest over how the war is being handled but Miller is not believed to be leaving because he is unhappy with the administration’s approach.

Most recently Stacy Gilbert, a career diplomat at the State Department with more than two decades of experience, told CNN she resigned in protest of the administration’s report that said Israel was not impeding the delivery of humanitarian support to Gaza. She had been working on the highly anticipated report and said that “at some point, the subject matter experts who were working on that report were removed, it was moved up to a higher level.”

Miller brought extensive experience to a role that became exponentially more sensitive and complex after Hamas’ October 7 attack.

He played a central role in the Biden administration’s executive order issued in February that has resulted in sanctions imposed against individuals and groups involved in settler violence in the West Bank. He led efforts for equal treatment for Palestinian-Americans in the visa waiver program for Israelis.

Miller also played a key role helping the mother and uncle of an American service member escape from Gaza during the war.

Miller joined the Biden administration from the start, first at the US mission at the United Nations and then as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State. He advised Biden’s transition team on Middle East affairs and during that time had a mild heart attack. He had previously served as a director on the National Security Council and in intelligence at the State Department under President Barack Obama.

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