No Palestinian rule of any kind in post-war Gaza: Netanyahu

Netanyahu has not moved in an inch in his conviction that there will be no Palestinian rule over Gaza after the end of the war [Getty]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected any Palestinian involvement in the leadership and administration of Gaza following the end of Israel’s war on the enclave, according to a report on Friday.

The Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, citing Israeli security sources, reported that Netanyahu continues to oppose Fatah, which is the ruling party in the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, participating in Gaza’s administration after the war.

The report pointed to statements by Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Galant last month criticising Netanyahu, saying: “The day after the war will only come with Palestinian control of Gaza with international support, and this body will be an administrative alternative to Hamas (…) This is an Israeli national interest.”

However, Netanyahu broke with Gallant and rejected this idea completely.

“I am not ready to replace Hamas-stan with Fatah-stan,” indicating that he is not prepared to let Fatah govern Gaza through the Palestinian Authority instead of Hamas.

“The first condition for the day after (the war on Gaza) is the elimination of Hamas, and this must be done without excuses,” he added.

Netanyahu’s rejection comes as it was revealed by The Washington Post on Friday that Gallant had discussed “day after” plans with US officials during his solo visit to the US.

According to Gallant’s plan revealed by the American newspaper, Gaza would be divided into 24 administrative zones managed by Palestinian forces, trained by the United States. The American newspaper clarified that a committee would be formed to execute and monitor the plan, chaired by the United States and including an international force comprising Egypt, Jordan, the UAE, and Morocco, as reported.

However, Netanyahu’s office quickly denied the veracity of Gallant’s plan, describing it as “false”, stating, “Those who fund terrorism, support terrorism, and teach terrorism, including the Palestinian Authority, cannot be partners in managing Gaza on the day after Hamas.”

Netanyahu reiterated this stance in recent meetings of the Security and Political Affairs Cabinet and in meetings with American officials and to the Israeli public, according to his claims.

Critics argue that Netanyahu’s recalcitrance on letting Palestinians rule postwar Gaza is due to his desire, backed by the far-right wing of his government, led by Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, to keep Gaza in Israeli hands, possibly allowing for future Israeli settlements.

Addressing the “day after”, Hamas’s leader Ismail Haniyeh stated that the “the administration of the sector after the war will be decided by the movement alongside the national consensus, based on the higher interests of our people in Gaza.”

He said Hamas would be “facilitating the people of Gaza in all matters related to the post-war phase and adhering to the national vision regulating the unity of the West Bank and Gaza.”

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