Home west asia No Excuses: Netanyahu Snubs Defence Minister Over Remarks On Gaza

No Excuses: Netanyahu Snubs Defence Minister Over Remarks On Gaza

His remarks followed a public challenge by Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, who accused the government of having avoided a serious discussion of a proposal for a non-Hamas post-war Palestinian administration.
Netanyahu says Hamas must be eliminated before discussing post war government in Gaza

JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday that the Hamas must be eliminated before any discussions on a government in Gaza,  and demanded this goal be pursued “without excuses”.

His remarks, in a video statement posted online, followed a public challenge by Defence Minister Yoav Gallant.

In a televised news conference, Gallant said soon after the conflict erupted following the Hamas attack on October 7, he had tried to promote a blueprint for an alternative Gaza administration made up of Palestinians.

Those efforts “got no response” from various decision-making cabinet forums under Netanyahu, said Gallant, who comes from the prime minister’s Likud party.

“I call on the prime minister to announce that Israel will not rule over Gaza militarily,” Gallant said. “An alternative to Hamas governance should be established…Indecision will erode the military gains (of the war).”

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Netanyahu has said Israel, if it achieves its war goal of dismantling Hamas’ government and military apparatus in Gaza, would retain overall security control over the territory. He has stopped short of describing this scenario as an occupation.

He has also balked at proposals for the internationally-backed Palestinian Authority (PA), which wields some governance in the occupied West Bank, to move back into a post-war Gaza.

“Today, the Government stated its opposition to last week’s U.N. decision to advance recognition of a Palestinian state,” he said. “We will not reward the terrible massacre of October 7, which 80% of the Palestinians support, both in Gaza and in Judea and Samaria. We will not allow them to establish a terrorist state from which they will be able to vigorously attack us.”

Netanyahu accuses the PA of being hostile to Israel, but his governing coalition also relies on ultra-nationalist partners which want the PA dismantled and for Jewish settlements to be expanded to Gaza.

“Until it is clear that Hamas does not control Gaza militarily, nobody will be prepared to take upon himself the civil management of Gaza out of fear for their lives,” He said. “Therefore, all the talk about ‘the day after’, while Hamas remains intact, will remain mere words devoid of content.”

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In a career spanning three decades and counting, I’ve been the foreign editor of The Telegraph, Outlook Magazine and the New Indian Express. I helped set up rediff.com’s editorial operations in San Jose and New York, helmed sify.com, and was the founder editor of India.com. My work has featured in national and international publications like the Al Jazeera Centre for Studies, Global Times and Ashahi Shimbun. My one constant over all these years, however, has been the attempt to understand rising India’s place in the world. I can rustle up a mean salad, my oil-less pepper chicken is to die for, and it just takes some beer and rhythm and blues to rock my soul.