Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated that Israel will need to manage the overall security in Gaza for an indefinite period of time after the current war with Hamas comes to an end. In an interview with ABC News, Netanyahu was asked about Israel’s long-term plans for Gaza if they succeed in dismantling Hamas, indicating the need for a lengthy timeframe for their security responsibilities.
Netanyahu emphasized the importance of Israel maintaining overall security in Gaza, as they have witnessed the consequences of not doing so. He pointed out that without their security responsibility, there is an eruption of Hamas terror on a scale that is unimaginable.
These remarks by Netanyahu seem to contradict previous statements from senior Israeli officials. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, when announcing a major ground assault on Gaza, stressed that Israeli troops should not be responsible for the day-to-day life in the enclave. While Israel plans to establish a new security reality in the area after the war, there are indications that they intend to transfer post-conflict governance to a third party.
The statement made by Netanyahu has raised concerns, particularly from the United States, about the possibility of another Gaza occupation. President Joe Biden, while expressing his support for Israel’s military operation against Hamas, cautioned against such a move, describing it as a big mistake. He stressed the importance of removing the extremists but did not advocate for an Israeli occupation of Gaza.
Israel initially occupied Gaza during the 1967 Six-Day War. After nearly 40 years, it withdrew its troops and settlers from the area. However, Israel has maintained a strict blockade on Gaza since then and has launched periodic bombing campaigns against Hamas since the group took control in 2006.
The recent escalation in violence started with a Hamas terrorist attack that claimed the lives of around 1,400 Israelis. In response, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) launched retaliatory airstrikes and gradually intensified their ground attack on Gaza. According to local officials, more than 10,000 Palestinians have been killed in the process.
Despite Israel’s intentions to manage overall security in Gaza, concerns have been raised about the long-term implications of such a plan. The situation in Gaza remains highly volatile, and a sustainable solution that ensures the safety and well-being of both Palestinians and Israelis is crucial.
In a related development, the White House has ruled out the possibility of sending US troops to Gaza, highlighting the complexity and sensitivity of the issue. Finding a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will require a comprehensive and inclusive approach, involving diplomacy, dialogue, and cooperation from all parties involved.
It remains to be seen how the situation will unfold in the coming months. The international community, including the United States, will continue to closely monitor developments and seek a peaceful resolution that brings stability and security to the region.