On Tuesday, Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said that Israel will “retain complete freedom of action to respond to any situation in the Gaza Strip” once the war ends…reports Asian Lite News
A senior White House official said President Joe Biden “believes that a reoccupation of Gaza by Israeli forces is not good” after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed his country “will have the overall security responsibility” in the besieged enclave once the war ends “for an indefinite period”.
Speaking to CNN on Tuesday, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said: “The President still believes that a reoccupation of Gaza by Israeli forces is not good. It’s not good for Israel; not good for the Israeli people.
“One of the conversations that Secretary (Antony) Blinken has been having in the region is what does post-conflict Gaza look like? What does governance look like in Gaza? Because whatever it is it can’t be what it was on October 6. It can’t be Hamas.”
Kirby’s remarks came a day after Netanyahu told ABC News that he believed Israel will have a role to play for an “indefinite period” once and when the raging fighting ends.
“Those who don’t want to continue the way of Hamas… It certainly is not — I think Israel will, for an indefinite period will have the overall security responsibility because we’ve seen what happens when we don’t have it.
“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,” he told ABC News.
Last month, Biden had said that it would be a “big mistake” for Israel to occupy Gaza.
Meanwhile, speaking to reporters on Tuesday, the President said that he has not had a chance to speak with Netanyahu but did asked the latter to consider a humanitarian pause when they spoke on Monday.
“I didn’t get a chance to talk to him today. I did ask him for a pause in the past – yesterday. I’m still waiting to hear from other people,” CNN quoted Biden as saying.
Israeli government officials have not commented on how Gaza will be governed if the Hamas militant group is wiped out from the enclave.
On Tuesday, Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said that Israel will “retain complete freedom of action to respond to any situation in the Gaza Strip” once the war ends.
“At the end of this ‘campaign’ Hamas, as a military organisation or governing body in Gaza, will cease to exist,” he asserted.
Speaking to CNN also on Tuesday, Mark Regev, a senior adviser to Netanyahu, said that Israel is “not talking about any sort of ongoing occupation of the Gaza Strip”.
“When this is over and we have defeated Hamas, it is crucial that there won’t be a resurgent terrorist element, a resurgent Hamas. There is no point doing this and just going back to square one.
There will have to be an Israeli security presence, but that doesn’t mean Israel is re-occupying Gaza, that doesn’t mean that Israel is there to govern the Gazans,” he told CNN.