Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared in an interview that aired Monday night that Israel will have “security responsibility” over the Gaza Strip for an indefinite amount of time after winning the war against Hamas, according to The Times of Israel. Concerns have been raised regarding Israel’s plans to handle the post-war situation in Gaza, leaving it uncertain.
“I think Israel will for an indefinite period have security responsibility,” Netanyahu told ABC News. “We’ve seen what happens 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.”
The war with Hamas began after approximately 3,000 terrorists breached the Gaza border on October 7, resulting in the deaths of around 1,400 people, mainly civilians, and the abduction of over 240 individuals, including at least 30 children.
In the interview, Netanyahu also acknowledged that he was partially to blame for the defense breakdown that gave Hamas the green light to carry out its atrocities on October 7. In response to the question, “Do you think you should take any responsibility?” Netanyahu retorted, “Obviously. It’s not a question,” he continued, saying that there would be time “to allocate” that duty following the war. Regarding Israel’s post-war security supervision over Gaza, Netanyahu did not elaborate, but it seems to entail a prolonged military presence in the Strip. According to The Times of Israel, Israel has further stated that it has no intention of reoccupying the enclave, from which it unilaterally withdrew in 2005.
The Biden administration has expressed opposition to an Israeli reoccupation of Gaza, urging Israel to formulate a plan for the governance of the enclave once Hamas is removed from power. Some suggest that the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority could replace Hamas, while others doubt the PA’s stability and reliability.