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Israeli forces will remain in control of Gaza after war: Netanyahu

The Gaza war may have ended, but there is no desire on Israel’s part to hand over control of the Palestinian Authority (PA) to Mahmoud Abbas. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed any interest in handing over responsibility to the Palestinian leadership under Abbas, stating that such aspirations were nullified by the United States. He emphasized that even after the war, Israeli military forces would maintain control in Gaza.

Netanyahu stated before journalists, “The current Palestinian Authority is not capable of taking responsibility for Gaza. After we fight, after doing so much, how do we hand it over to them?” He pointed out that Mahmoud Abbas had not condemned the Hamas attacks on October 7.

Referring to Abbas, Netanyahu said, “Abu Mazen [Abbas] did not condemn the most heinous act of terrorism against Jews since the Holocaust.” He also mentioned that many Palestinian ministers celebrated the incident.

Netanyahu further accused the PA of supporting terrorists and providing monthly allowances to them and teaching their children to hate Jews. He recalled that in 2005, after the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, it fell into the hands of the PA, but in 2007, Hamas took over through a violent uprising.

Notably, U.S. President Joe Biden is suggesting handing over Gaza to the PA.

Netanyahu insisted that there had been no agreement on disarming Hamas or bringing back Israeli prisoners. He declared that after the war, Israel would maintain military control in Gaza. He stated, “From that day on, another reality will prevail: the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] will be completely free to take any measures against threats from Gaza, ensuring full freedom to act against any terror threats.”

He made it clear that Israel would not agree to any ceasefire without the release of all prisoners of war. Only temporary cessation of hostilities could be considered in exchange for the release of all detainees.

He emphasized that Israel would not accept a complete eradication of Hamas until all Hamas members, whether inside or outside Gaza, were dead.

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