2023/11/8 level 9
Israeli PM Plans to Maintain 'Security' in Gaza After War
Israel will take "overall security responsibility" in Gaza indefinitely after its war with Hamas, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, the clearest indication yet that Israel plans to maintain control there one month into a conflict that has claimed thousands of lives.
In an interview with ABC News Netanyahu said he was open to "little pauses" in the fighting to allow the delivery of aid to Gaza or the release of some of the more than 240 hostages taken by Hamas in its October 7 attack into Israel that triggered the war.
But he ruled out any general cease-fire without the release of all the hostages.
The war has already come at a staggering cost. Entire city blocks have been destroyed, and around 70% of Gaza's 2.3 million people have fled their homes, with many following Israeli orders to head to the southern part of the territory, which is also being bombed.
Israeli soldiers have been battling Palestinian militants inside Gaza, and have succeeded in cutting the territory in half and surrounding Gaza City. Food, medicine, fuel and water are running low.
More than 10,300 Palestinians have now been killed, two-thirds of them women and minors, according to the Health Ministry of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip. More than 2,300 people are missing and believed to be buried under destroyed buildings, the ministry said.
About 1,400 people in Israel have died, mostly during the October 7 invasion by Hamas.
Netanyahu told ABC News that Gaza should be governed by "those who don't want to continue the way of Hamas."
He said: "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 did not make clear what shape that security control would take. Israel withdrew soldiers and settlers in 2005 but kept control over Gaza's airspace, coastline and borders, except one into Egypt.
Hamas seized power from forces loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas in 2007, confining his Palestinian Authority to parts of the occupied West Bank. Since then, Israel and Egypt have imposed a blockade on Gaza to varying degrees.
Israel captured Gaza, the West Bank and east Jerusalem — the three territories that Palestinians want for a future state — in the 1967 Mideast war. It annexed east Jerusalem in a move not recognized by most of the international community.