Netanyahu Vows to Prevent Terrorist Influence in Gaza, Rejects Role for Palestinian Authority in “The Day After”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a resolute pushback against US plans for Gaza post-conflict, has firmly stated that the region will not become a stronghold for Hamas or Fatah. This statement comes amidst US President Joe Biden’s increased efforts to push Israel towards ceasing its military operations in Gaza, following the deadly invasions and massacres by Hamas and other Gazans that resulted in over 1,200 deaths and the capture of around 250 hostages.
Netanyahu’s stance was made clear: “Gaza will be neither Hamastan nor Fatahstan,” he emphasized, highlighting his determination to prevent terrorist groups from gaining a foothold in the region. Fatah is the Arabic acronym for the Palestinian Liberation Organization, represented by the current PM Mahmoud Abbas, This stance reflects Israel’s unwavering commitment to its security and sovereignty, especially in the wake of the recent devastating attacks.
The Prime Minister expressed gratitude towards the Biden administration for its support in Israel’s military campaign against Hamas, including the provision of military and financial assistance, as well as the US veto of a UN Security Council resolution that called for a humanitarian ceasefire without condemning Hamas. “I greatly appreciate the American support for destroying Hamas and returning our hostages,” Netanyahu said.
Despite this gratitude, however, Netanyahu expressed grave concerns over the disagreements with the US regarding the situation post-Hamas. He is particularly cautious about repeating past mistakes, referencing the Oslo Accords of 1993, which led to the establishment of the Palestinian Authority (PA). “I will not allow Israel to repeat the mistake of Oslo,” he stated firmly.
Netanyahu highlighted the problematic nature of the PA, especially given its policies of financially supporting terrorists and their families. “After the great sacrifice of our civilians and our soldiers, I will not allow the entry into Gaza of those who educate for terrorism, support terrorism and finance terrorism,” he asserted.
Israel handed over Gaza to the Palestinian Authority in the disastrous Disengagement of 2005, but the PA was soon ousted by Hamas, which has since ruled without elections.
This strong stance from Netanyahu comes just a day after President Biden expressed his support for Israel’s actions against Hamas in Gaza, but also cautioned about the sustainability of this support. Speaking at the White House’s annual Hanukkah party, Biden remarked, “We continue to provide military assistance [to the IDF] until they get rid of Hamas – but you have to be careful, I have to be careful.” He warned of the potential shift in global public opinion, underscoring the delicate balance in international relations and public perception.
Netanyahu’s position reflects a deep-seated concern for Israel’s security and a cautious approach towards any future governance structure in Gaza. His rejection of US proposals that could potentially empower Hamas or the PA in Gaza signifies a stark divergence in the Israeli and US visions for the region’s future. A clash is just a matter of time.