Senior Israeli Official: PA Can't Rule Post-War Gaza

(Times of Israel) Jeremy Sharon - A senior Israeli official said Thursday that an op-ed by Israeli National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi on the Saudi-owned Elaph news site, which was taken to mean that the government may allow a reformed Palestinian Authority a role in governing Gaza after the war with Hamas, had been "misunderstood." The official insisted that there can be no role for the PA in Gaza after the war because it cannot be trusted to fulfill Israel's requirements, including demilitarizing the territory. The official also said that Israel is interested in reaching a new hostage release agreement with Hamas in which the remaining 17 women and children would be released first, but that there are no active negotiations at present. The official dismissed any potential UN Security Council resolution demanding a ceasefire and insinuated that Israel would ignore it. He said Israel had three goals for Gaza after the war: that it be demilitarized, deradicalized, and that a functioning civil administration be established. He said the PA was not capable of delivering on any of these goals. On demilitarization, "we know the PA can't do it because they are not ready to confront the terrorists....They haven't done it since the beginning of the Oslo Accords and they don't do it today....We can't take people who aren't doing this in Jenin and ask them to do it in Gaza. It's a non-starter." The official said that instead, Israel wants moderate Arab nations such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE to be involved in deradicalizing Gaza, alongside Western assistance, and wants civilian life in Gaza to be run by a "local administration of Palestinians." He added, "We are committed to putting an end to the existence of Hamas, because of the atrocities, because of the fact that they swore to go forward [again] with those atrocities, because they are committed to killing us, to raping us, to decapitating us. This [goal] is not going to change." Turning to the northern front, the official said, "If diplomacy won't bring about a solution, we will have no choice but to use other means to make sure that the north is safe, Hizbullah is taken away from the border, and Israeli citizens, about 100,000 people that left their homes, will be able to come back home safe."

2023-12-22 00:00:00

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