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Israel to impose its own ‘indefinite security responsibility’ over Gaza after war

“I think Israel will, for an indefinite period, have the overall security responsibility [in Gaza]," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told ABC News. This comes amid concerns Israel will reoccupy Gaza after it waged war on the besieged enclave following a surprise attack by Hamas on 7 October 2023. Israeli bombardment has killed 10,000 Palestinians in Gaza so far, the majority of whom have been women and children.

November 7, 2023 at 1:19 pm

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told ABC News yesterday that Israel will assume “indefinite security responsibility” over the Gaza Strip following the end of its war against the Palestinians in the enclave.

“I think Israel will for an indefinite period have security responsibility,” said Netanyahu. “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.”

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The Israeli leader also acknowledged that he bore some responsibility for the military and intelligence failure on 7 October that resulted in a surprise attack by Palestinian resistance movement Hamas against Israel. When asked, “Do you believe that you should take any responsibility?” for the attack, he replied: “Of course. It’s not a question [for now, though]”, adding that there would be time after the war to “allocate” that responsibility.

Netanyahu did not provide specific information about what Israeli “security responsibility” in Gaza would entail. However, his comment is in line with similar remarks by Israeli officials in recent weeks which suggest that plans are being prepared for a more extended Israeli military presence in the Strip, where more than 2.3 million Palestinians live in what has been described as a concentration camp.

Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said last month that one key objective of Israel’s military campaign is to sever “Israel’s responsibility for life in the Gaza Strip” and establish a “new security reality for the citizens of Israel.”

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Moreover, Netanyahu reiterated his stance that he would not agree to a ceasefire in Gaza until Hamas releases its prisoners of war and hostages, but might consider “tactical little pauses” to allow the movement of people and aid.

“There’ll be no general ceasefire in Gaza without the release of our hostages. As far as tactical little pauses, an hour here, an hour there, we’ve had them before,” he explained. “I suppose we’ll check the circumstances in order to enable humanitarian goods to come in, or our hostages, individual hostages to leave. But I don’t think there’s going to be a general ceasefire.”

According to the Israeli army, a total of 241 Israeli citizens have been held in Gaza since 7 October. Four have been released, while nearly 60 are believed to have been killed in Israel’s indiscriminate bombing of Gaza. Hamas has said that it will release all prisoners of war in return for the nearly 10,000 Palestinians detained by Israel.

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