Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday said his country has no plans to reoccupy Gaza once the fighting is over, but repeated that they are not prepared to agree to a cease-fire as the Palestinian death toll continues to climb.
In an interview with Fox News, Netanyahu said Israel in the future wants to see Gaza “demilitarized, deradicalized and rebuilt” and the Hamas militant group gone for good.
“We don’t see to conquer Gaza. We don’t seek to occupy Gaza. And we don’t seek to govern Gaza,” Netanyahu told Fox News.
President Joe Biden has previously warned the reoccupation of the territory would be a “big mistake.”
Netanyahu, though, said Israel would have to maintain a force “that if necessary will enter Gaza and kill the killers because that’s what will prevent the reemergence of a Hamas-like entity.”
“We’ll have to find a government, a civilian government that will be there but in the foreseeable future, we have to make sure that this doesn’t happen again,” Netanyahu added in reference to the brutal Oct. 7 attack that killed 1,400 people, according to Israeli authorities.
Meanwhile, Netanyahu ruled out a general cease-fire, echoing President Joe Biden’s comments that there is “no possibility” of a stop to the violence even as Democratic staffers in Congress saying they are getting overwhelmed with calls from constituents with such demands. Earlier on Thursday, the White House said Israel agreed to four daily humanitarian pauses to allow aid to reach civilians in need, among other things.
“A cease-fire with Hamas means surrender to Hamas, surrender to terror and the victory of the Iran’s axis of terror, so there won’t be a cease-fire without the release of Israeli hostages,” he told Fox’s Bret Baier.
So far, over 11,000 Palestinians have been killed in the war, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry. About 240 hostages remain in the custody of Hamas and other Palestinian militants.
Read the full article here