According to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s military should have control of the Gaza Strip after the war. The Israeli army will “retain control of the strip, we will not hand it over to international forces,” Netanyahu said, according to media reports, on Friday at a meeting with representatives of Israeli border towns.
Netanyahu had previously told US broadcaster Fox News in an interview that Israel did not want to try to conquer, rule or occupy the Gaza Strip. “But we want to give him and ourselves a better future in the entire Middle East. And for that to happen, Hamas must be defeated.” Netanyahu said he had not set a timetable “because it may take more time.” The Gaza Strip must be demilitarized, de-radicalized and rebuilt.
- Also read: Iran threatens to expand the Gaza war
A senior adviser to Netanyahu said last week that Israel was not seeking a continued occupation of the area. However, there must be an Israeli security presence so that the military can go in for operations depending on the threat situation.
- ZIB 1: Ceasefire only in exchange of hostages
Abbas calls for a political solution
Yesterday the Palestinian Authority said it was prepared to assume government responsibility in the Gaza Strip after the end of the war, subject to certain conditions. The prerequisite is a comprehensive political solution that also includes the West Bank and East Jerusalem, said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. However, large parts of the Palestinian population are demanding Abbas’ resignation. The 87-year-old has been in office for more than 18 years and is no longer legitimized by elections.
The autonomous authority was driven out of the Gaza Strip by Hamas in 2007. Since then, it has ruled to a limited extent in the West Bank, which is partly occupied by Israel and where Israel has expanded its settlements despite international criticism.
- Now read: No ceasefire in sight in the Middle East
Attack on hospital?
Meanwhile, 13 people are said to have been killed yesterday in an attack on the largest hospital complex in the Gaza Strip, according to the radical Islamic group Hamas. In addition, dozens of people were injured in the “Israeli attack on the grounds of the Al-Shifa Hospital” in the center of the city of Gaza, a Hamas spokesman said. According to its director, “around 50 dead people” were brought to the hospital after a school was shelled.
- ZIB 1: Doctor describes escape from Gaza
Red Cross alerted
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has expressed alarm at the state of the health system in the Gaza Strip. “Overstretched, short on supplies and increasingly insecure, Gaza’s health system has reached the point of no return, putting the lives of thousands of injured, sick and displaced people at risk,” the ICRC said on Friday. “The destruction of hospitals in Gaza is becoming unbearable and must stop,” the ICRC demanded.
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