ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 149

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Netanyahu reiterates PA can’t rule Gaza, Israel must maintain ‘military responsibility’

Carrie Keller-Lynn is a former political and legal correspondent for The Times of Israel

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu doubles down on his Saturday remark that the Palestinian Authority is not fit to govern Gaza should Israel succeed in dislodging Hamas’s control over the coastal enclave.

“As far as the civilian management of Gaza, we have to see the following two things: Gaza has to be demilitarized and Gaza has to be de-radicalized,” Netanyahu tells NBC News.

“And I think so far, we haven’t seen any Palestinian force, including the Palestinian Authority, that has been able to do it,” he adds, saying “it’s too early to say” who will govern the Strip.

“They teach their children to hate Israel, they’re paying for slay,” Netanyahu says of the Ramallah-based PA, referring to monthly stipends it pays to jailed terror convicts and relatives of slain attackers. Additionally, more than a month since Hamas’s October 7 terror onslaught that catalyzed the war, Netanyahu says “the Palestinian Authority president refuses to condemn this savagery.”

US officials have said that neither Israel nor Hamas will govern a postwar Gaza, but expect Israel to exercise a transitional security control over the area.

Netanyahu says that Israel plans to maintain “military responsibility” over the Strip, because Israel does not trust another entity to prevent terror from creating another stronghold in Gaza.

“I think that the only force right now that can guarantee that Hamas terrorism does not reappear and take over Gaza again is the Israeli military. So overall military responsibility will have to be with Israel,” Netanyahu tells NBC.

“If we want to have peace, we have to destroy Hamas,” he adds.

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