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Gaza cannot be handed over to Palestinian Authority control, Netanyahu says

Biden calls for reunion of Gaza and West Bank under 'single governance structure'

Palestinian gunmen from the Fatah movement hold their weapons during a parade in the Balata camp, in the West Bank city of Nablus, May 15, 2023. (Photo: Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to U.S. President Joe Biden’s op-ed in the Washington Post on Saturday, in which Biden called for the Gaza Strip to be governed by the Palestinian Authority (PA) after the war and following an interim period.

“As we strive for peace, Gaza and the West Bank should be reunited under a single governance structure, ultimately under a revitalized Palestinian Authority, as we all work toward a two-state solution,” Biden wrote.

“There must be no forcible displacement of Palestinians from Gaza, no reoccupation, no siege or blockade, and no reduction in territory.”

Netanyahu said on Saturday that the PA is “not able” to take over the governance of Gaza in its current form

“The Palestinian Authority, in its current form, is not able to take responsibility for Gaza. After we fought and did all this, how could we hand it over to them?” the prime minister rhetorically asked reporters.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas [Abu Mazen] has still not condemned the Oct. 7 massacre by the Hamas terror organization. Instead, his Fatah faction celebrated the murder of Israelis and announced that its terror wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, would be committing even more terrorist acts against Israelis.

Senior Fatah party official Abbas Zaki also thanked Hamas' surprise brutal attack during a TV broadcast on Oct. 14, in which he appeared with Osama Hamdan, a member of Hamas’ Political Bureau.

“Abu Mazen [Abbas], 43 days after the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, has refused to condemn it,” Netanyahu said, noting that there are Palestinian ministers who are celebrating the massacre.

Netanyahu also mentioned the PA’s “pay for slay” policy, according to which terrorists and their families are awarded monthly stipends.

The Israeli president also said that when Israel withdrew its forces from Gaza in 2005, leaving it to be governed by the PA, the Hamas terror organization took control over it in 2007.

“If there is no change here, what have we done? They [the PA] were already there, they were given the Gaza Strip and what happened? They were destroyed and chased out of there in less than a year,” Netanyahu noted.

“There has to be a change here, that is my opinion and I stand by it.”

Netanyahu said there was an agreement with the United States about eliminating Hamas and securing the return of the hostages that are currently being held captive in Gaza.

“I believe we will reach an agreement with the U.S. also about this; that it is impossible to put in Gaza an authority that supports terror, abets terror, and pays terrorists,” Netanyahu emphasized, stating that the IDF would keep military control of Gaza after the end of the war to ensure complete freedom of action for the IDF to maintain Israel's security.

“There is another condition that I set for the day after: The IDF will have complete freedom of action in the Gaza Strip against any threat. Only in this way will we guarantee the demilitarization of Gaza,” the prime minister stated.

He reiterated that Israel will not agree to a ceasefire until the Hamas terrorists and its infrastructure has been eliminated, noting that a temporary ceasefire would only be agreed upon in exchange for the return of all of the hostages taken from Israel.

 “All Hamas members are dead men whether they are located in or out of Gaza,” Netanyahu warned.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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