Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (pictured, top) said Thursday during an interview with the American television network Fox News that he has no intention to “rule”, nor “take over”, nor impose a new “occupation” on the Strip of Gaza, and assured that his country’s army is progressing “extremely well” in the war against Hamas.
“I think the Israeli army is doing extremely well,” Mr Netanyahu said. “We do not seek to rule in Gaza. We do not seek to impose occupation, but to obtain, like us, a better future”, he added.
A “credible” force will be needed in the Palestinian enclave after the war is over
He insisted, however, that a “credible” force would be needed in the Palestinian enclave after the war with the Palestinian Islamist movement ends, to prevent risks to his country, so that, as he put it, there is no repeat of an attack like the one on October 7.
Earlier this week, the Israeli prime minister’s statement that his country would assume “overall responsibility for security” in the Palestinian enclave “indefinitely” prompted a US backlash.
A State Department spokesman said “we do not support the imposition of new occupation” by Israel in the Gaza Strip.
Yesterday Mr. Netanyahu said that “we will need a credible force that, if necessary, will go into Gaza and kill the murderers. Because this will prevent the re-emergence of any entity like Hamas.”
According to the Israeli prime minister, the Palestinian enclave should be “demilitarized”, “de-radicalized” and “reconstructed”.
The role of the Palestinian Authority
American officials judge that it is the Palestinian Authority that should take over the governance of the Gaza Strip after the war.
Hamas defeated Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah in elections before expelling its forces from the Gaza Strip in 2007.
Palestinian officials, including Mr. Abbas, stress that for the Palestinian Authority to return to the Gaza Strip, there must be a broader Middle East solution.
Mr Abbas’s prime minister, Mohammed Stageh, told US broadcaster PBS this week that the Palestinian Authority would not return to the Gaza Strip “on an Israeli tank”.