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Netanyahu categorically rejects Palestinian Authority rule in Gaza

March 11, 2024 at 9:27 am

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs a cabinet meeting at the Kirya military base, which houses the Israeli Ministry of Defence, in Tel Aviv on December 24, 2023 [OHAD ZWIGENBERG/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has categorically rejected calls to allow the Palestinian Authority (PA) to govern the Gaza Strip after Hamas is “eliminated”, Anadolu news agency reported.

Earlier on Saturday, US President Joe Biden had said Netanyahu’s approach to the “Gaza conflict” may harm the country’s image as “he is hurting Israel more than helping”.

In an exclusive interview with MSNBC’s Jonathan Capehart, Biden said: “In my view, he is hurting Israel more than helping Israel by making the rest of the world – it is contrary to what Israel stands for.”

Responding to Biden’s comment yesterday, Netanyahu said: “I don’t know what the president [Biden] meant, but if he meant that I lead a policy against the majority of the Israeli public and that it harms Israel’s interests, he is wrong on both counts.”

“Once we have eliminated Hamas, the last thing we should do is bring the Palestinian Authority into Gaza, which educates its children in terrorism and finances terrorism.”

Watch: Former senior Israeli official says that Netanyahu is attempting to avoid reaching an exchange deal with Hamas

“Most Israelis realise that if we allow this to happen, we will return to the October 7 massacre, so my policy is the policy of the majority of Israelis. The vast majority are united like never before, and they understand what is good and what is important for Israel – and they are right.”

Media reports and recent official statements have suggested tensions between the US and Israel over Tel Aviv’s obstruction of a ceasefire and prisoner exchange agreement with Hamas, and the large numbers of Palestinian civilian deaths and injuries in Gaza.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.