update deskIsrael at War

Netanyahu again says PA will not rule Gaza

The premier's comments came after National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi appeared to indicate that Jerusalem has softened its position.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a video address, Dec. 21, 2023. Source: Screenshot/Prime Minister's Spokesperson.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a video address, Dec. 21, 2023. Source: Screenshot/Prime Minister's Spokesperson.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday appeared to maintain his position of recent weeks that the Palestinian Authority will not be allowed to rule Gaza after Hamas is defeated.

“We fight until victory. We will not stop the war until we complete all its goals—the completion of the elimination of Hamas, and the release of all our hostages,” he said.

“The choice I offer to Hamas is very simple: surrender or die. They don’t have and won’t have any other choice.

“And after we eliminate Hamas, I will work with all my might to ensure that Gaza no longer poses any threat to Israel. Neither Hamastan nor Fatahstan,” the premier said.

Members of the P.A.’s ruling party, Fatah, headed by P.A. chief Mahmoud Abbas, have refused to condemn the Oct. 7 Hamas massacre of 1,200 persons in Israel. Indeed, Fatah’s terrorist wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, boasted that it took part in the attack, distributing images of Gazan terrorists on Oct. 7 wearing Fatah’s yellow headband.

Netanyahu’s video remarks were published after earlier in the day National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi wrote of the possibility of a “moderate Palestinian governing body” running the coastal enclave, echoing White House calls for a “revitalized” P.A. to take over a post-Hamas Gaza Strip.

“Israel is aware of the desire of the international community and the countries of the region to integrate the Palestinian Authority the day after Hamas,” Hanegbi wrote in the London-based Arabic-language Elaph online daily, in an op-ed titled “The Iron Swords War and the Day That Follows.”

The P.A. would require “a fundamental reform,” he said, and would need to raise a generation “on the values of moderation and tolerance, without incitement to violence against Israel.” (The P.A. is notorious for its anti-Israel and anti-Jewish curriculum.)

Hanegbi acknowledged that “in its current form, the Authority finds it difficult to do this, and it will require a great effort and assistance from the international community as well as from the countries of the region, and we are ready for this effort.”

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