Israel Defense minister says opposes Israeli post-war control over Gaza

AFP , Wednesday 15 May 2024

Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant on Wednesday said he was opposed to Israeli army control or taking responsibility for the governance of the Gaza Strip after the ongoing war.

Gaza Strip
Israeli army battle tanks move near the border with the Gaza Strip at a location in southern Israel on May , 2024. AFP

 

"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, killing over 35,000 Palestinians since October 7.

"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 war on Gaza needed to be followed by political action.

"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.

Netanyahu has indicated Israel seeks to maintain open-ended control over security affairs and rejected a role for the internationally recognized Palestinian Authority.

That position stands in contrast to the vision set forth by the US administration, which wants Palestinian governance in Gaza and the Israeli-occupied West Bank as a precursor to Palestinian statehood.

The debate over a postwar vision for Gaza comes as fighting has erupted again in places Israel had targeted in the early days of the war and said it had under control, as well as in Gaza’s southernmost city of Rafah, which has sent hundreds of thousands fleeing.

For Palestinians, that displacement has renewed painful memories of mass expulsion from historic Palestine, in 1948. Palestinians across the Middle East on Wednesday were marking the 76th anniversary of that Nakba.

 

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