Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, on Monday accused the Palestinian Authority (PA) of seeking to destroy Israel “in stages”, Anadolu Agency reports.
“The difference between Hamas and the PA is only that Hamas wants to destroy us here and now, the PA wants to do it in stages,” Netanyahu said in a closed-door meeting for the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee as cited by Israeli Channel 12.
There was no comment from the Ramallah-based authority on Netanyahu’s accusation.
Netanyahu opposes US efforts to allow the PA to govern the Gaza Strip following the end of the ongoing Israeli war on the blocked Territory. Washington, for its part, argues that there must be a Palestinian authority or government in Gaza in the post-war period.
Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007 after ousting the PA forces following infighting. The PA rule has been confined to the West Bank ever since.
Israel resumed its military offensive on the Gaza Strip on 1 December after the end of a week-long humanitarian pause with the Palestinian group, Hamas.
Nearly 18,205 Palestinians have been killed and more than 49,645 others injured in relentless air and ground attacks on the enclave since 7 October following a cross-border attack by Hamas, according to Gaza’s health authorities.
The Israeli death toll in the Hamas attack stood at 1,200, according to official figures.