Israel minister says opposes Israeli post-war ‘control’ over Gaza

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Israel minister says opposes Israeli post-war ‘control’ over Gaza

Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant yesterday said he was opposed to Israeli military control or taking responsibility for the governance of the Gaza Strip after the ongoing war with Hamas. — AFP pic

TEL AVIV, May 16 — Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant yesterday said he was opposed to Israeli military control or taking responsibility for the governance of the Gaza Strip after the ongoing war with Hamas.

“Since October, I have been raising this issue consistently in the cabinet, and have received no response,” Gallant said in a televised statement.

“I must reiterate — I will not agree to the establishment of Israeli military rule in Gaza. Israel must not establish civilian rule in Gaza.”

Israel has been engaged in the bloodiest-war yet in the Gaza Strip since Palestinian militant group Hamas staged an unprecedented attack on Israel on October 7.

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Despite vowing to crush Hamas, which has ruled Gaza since 2007, Israel has not expressed a clear vision of an alternative to the group following the war.

“I call on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to make a decision and declare that Israel will not establish civilian control over the Gaza strip,” Gallant said, calling for a “governing alternative to Hamas” immediately.

Gallant said the current military action in Gaza needed to be followed by political action.

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“The day after Hamas will only be achieved with Palestinian entities taking control of Gaza, accompanied by international actors, establishing a governing alternative to Hamas’ rule,” he said.

“This, above all, is in interest of the State of Israel.”

Gallant’s comments come soon after Netanyahu said any discussion on preparations concerning who rules Gaza after the war was just “empty talk” as long as Hamas remains in the territory.

“Until it is clear that Hamas does not militarily control Gaza, no entity will be willing to take civilian management of Gaza for fear of its well-being,” reads a statement from Netanyahu’s office.

In a statement issued after Gallant’s remarks, Netanyahu vowed to “destroy” Hamas in Gaza.

“The first condition for preparing the ground for another entity is to destroy Hamas, and to do so without making excuses,” he said in the statement posted on his Telegram channel.

Israel’s far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, a member of Netanyahu’s ruling coalition, slammed Gallant over his comments.

“The Minister of Defence who failed on October 7 and continues to fail today. Such a Minister of Defence must be replaced in order to achieve the goals of the war,” he said. — AFP

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