Israel’s Defence Minister says he would oppose Israeli rule in post-war Gaza

Jerusalem, May 16 (IANS) Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant has said that he would oppose the establishment of Israel’s rule in the post-war Gaza Strip.

Speaking in a televised press briefing on Wednesday, Gallant urged Netanyahu to make a decision and declare that Israel will not establish civilian or military control over the Gaza Strip, adding that a governing alternative to Hamas, the Islamist Palestinian resistance movement that runs the enclave, must be named by Netanyahu “immediately”.

Gallant said that, soon after the beginning of the Israeli conflict with Hamas in October last year, he had tried to promote a plan for a new Palestinian administration unaffiliated with Hamas but “received no response” in cabinet meetings, Xinhua news agency reported.

In response, Netanyahu said in a statement that “as long as Hamas remains, no other party will run Gaza, certainly not the Palestinian Authority”. He did not address the issue of possible Israeli rule in the Palestinian enclave.

Gallant’s outspoken criticism of the prime minister has drawn criticism from several cabinet members, including Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, Justice Minister Yariv Levin, and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir.

But Minister-without-portfolio Benny Gantz supported Gallant, stating that the Defence Minister “is speaking the truth – the leadership’s responsibility is to do what is right for the country, at any price.”



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