Netanyahu Envisions ‘Indefinite’ Israeli Occupation of Gaza

Israel has been quietly pushing for other governments to support a plan to push Palestinians into Egypt

Nov 7, 2023

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu envisions Israel taking “overall security responsibility” for the Gaza Strip indefinitely if the Israeli war to destroy Hamas is successful, the Israeli leader said in an interview with ABC News that aired late Monday.

“I think Israel will, for an indefinite period will have the overall security responsibility because we’ve seen what happens when we don’t have it. When we don’t have that security responsibility, what we have is the eruption of Hamas terror on a scale that we couldn’t imagine,” Netanyahu said.

When asked if the US would support Netanyahu’s vision, which would have to be achieved by an Israeli occupation, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the issue of the enclave’s future was being discussed. “What we support is that Hamas can’t be in control of Gaza anymore. We can’t go back to October 6,” he said.

“We are having conversations with our Israeli counterparts about what governance in Gaza should look like post-conflict, and I don’t believe that any solutions have been settled upon one way or the other,” Kirby added.

US officials have previously said they don’t want Israel to occupy Gaza after the war, but President Biden has put no conditions on his full-throated support for Israel’s brutal campaign, which has killed over 10,000 Palestinians so far. Bloomberg recently reported that one idea the US and Israel are considering is deploying a multinational force to a post-war Gaza that would include US and other Western troops.

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A leaked document drafted by Israel’s Intelligence Ministry revealed that the Netanyahu government is considering cleansing Gaza of its approximately 2.3 million Palestinian residents by pushing them into Egypt, a plan that is strongly opposed by Cairo.

The New York Times reported Sunday that Israel has been quietly pushing other governments to support the idea of transferring hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from Gaza into Egypt. The Israelis are claiming the measure would just be temporary and that the Palestinians would be allowed back into Gaza, but the idea has so far been rejected over concerns that the expulsion would be permanent.

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