update deskIsrael at War

Netanyahu rules out Gaza resettlement post-Hamas

"It was never in the cards," the premier told CNN's Jake Tapper.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers remarks on the Jewish state's war against Hamas, May 9, 2024. Credit: Prime Minister's Office.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers remarks on the Jewish state's war against Hamas, May 9, 2024. Credit: Prime Minister's Office.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin on Tuesday ruled out resettlement in the Gaza Strip after the war against Hamas.

“If you mean resettling Gaza…it was never in the cards, and I said so openly. And some of my constituents are not happy about it, but that’s my position,” the premier said in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper.

Netanyahu reiterated his “day after” plan, whereby Israel will stay in charge of security in Gaza until insurgency and terrorism is completely rooted out, after which Gazans can take charge of the Strip.

“I think the only force that can prevent the resurgence of terrorism for the foreseeable future is Israel. At the same time, we want, I want a civilian administration that is run by Gazans who are neither Hamas nor committed to our destruction,” he said.

Netanyahu also said he wants to see a coalition of “moderate Arab states and the international community” that can assist in the reconstruction of Gaza.

The plan is not likely to be welcomed by some in his coalition.

The same day the interview aired, Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir reiterated his own plan for after the war.

“Complete occupation of Gaza, everything is ours. Full Israeli control including Jewish settlement and voluntary encouragement of immigration. Not only in settlements that have been evacuated,” he told the Kikar HaShabbat website. Ben-Gvir also said he would be willing to live in Gaza.

During the interview, Tapper asked about the recent announcement by the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor that he would be seeking arrest warrants for Israeli leaders, including Netanyahu.

The prime minister called the move “beyond outrageous,” adding, “This is a rogue prosecutor that has put false charges and created false symmetries that are both dangerous and false. And the first false symmetry is, he equates the democratically elected leaders of Israel with the terrorist tyrants of Hamas.”

This, he said, was like “issuing the arrest warrants for FDR and Churchill, but also for Hitler, or I’m issuing arrest warrants for George Bush, George W. Bush, but also for [Osama] bin Laden. That’s absurd.”

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