Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has indicated that Israel may have “security responsibility” for Gaza for “indefinite period” after war ends.
Netanyahu spoke about the possibility of Israel “governing” Gaza for an “indefinite period” in an interview with the United States’ ABC News.
Making reference to US President Joe Biden previous comments that it would be a “mistake” for Israel to occupy Gaza, interviewer David Muir asked Netanyahu who should govern the territory when the fighting ends.
In his response, the prime minister suggested Israel would have a role to play for an “indefinite period” so that Hamas do not return to have stronghold in Gaza ever again.
He said; “Those who don’t want to continue the way of Hamas … It certainly is not – I think Israel will, for an indefinite period will have the overall security responsibility because we’ve seen what happens when we don’t have it.
“When we don’t have that security responsibility, what we have is the eruption of Hamas terror on a scale that we couldn’t imagine.”
Last month, Israel Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said one key objective of Israel’s military campaign was to sever “Israel’s responsibility for life in the Gaza Strip” and establish a “new security reality for the citizens of Israel.”
However, the US has also suggested the Palestinian Authority, which administers the West Bank, could take charge in Gaza while others have suggested a consortium of Arab states could take responsibility.
But asked about Netanyahu’s comments, US National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said; “What we support is that Hamas can’t be in control of Gaza any more.
“We are having conversations with our Israeli counterparts about what governance in Gaza should look like post-conflict and I don’t believe that any solutions have been settled upon one way or the other.” – With agency reports