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Netanyahu emphatically excludes return of Palestinian Authority to Gaza Strip

US officials concur, say PA lacks credibility to govern

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a press conference at the Ministry of Defense, in Tel Aviv, Nov. 22, 2023. (Photo: Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

The Palestinian Authority will not govern the Gaza Strip after the end of the war between Israel and the terror organization Hamas, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed during a press briefing on Saturday.

When asked about his plans for governing the Gaza Strip after the war, Netanyahu didn’t state who would be controlling the area but strongly excluded the possibility of a return of the Palestinian Authority (PA).

“The defective thing that was created under the Oslo Accords through a terrible error,” will not be allowed to return to the Gaza Strip, Netanyahu said.

The PA ruled the Gaza Strip from Israel's disengagement in 2005 until Hamas violently expelled it in 2007.

Netanyahu also noted the history of the PA and the exile of its predecessor and main component, the PLO, which was expelled to Tunisia in 1982 before returning to the West Bank and being granted wide powers under the Oslo Accords in 1993.

“It wasn’t an error to exile it to Tunis, it was an error to return the most hostile entity in the Arab world… into the heart of the country. Later it split in two, but the ideology that denies Israel's existence is shared by these two factions, and I will not make the same error again.”

In response to suggestions by U.S. officials that the PA should be part of the governance of post-war Gaza, Netanyahu stressed, “This is what even our good friends are proposing. I think differently. I am against that.”

The prime minister also reiterated his stance that Israel would be in control of the security in the Gaza Strip for the coming years.

“The PA failed in this matter; it does not fight terrorism, it finances terrorism, it does not educate for peace, it educates for the disappearance of Israel – this isn’t the body that should go into [Gaza],” he concluded.

Shortly after Netanyahu’s comments on Saturday, White House National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby stated that the PA doesn’t have the credibility to govern Gaza “right now.”

“What [Netanyahu] said was right now you’ve got an unreformed PA and that’s unacceptable to him. I would tell you that’s unacceptable to us, too. We don’t believe the PA is in a position right now to be in—a credible control of governance in Gaza,” Kirby told ABC News.

Kirby soon after qualified his comment: “But whatever it looks like, and I’m not saying it has to be just the PA. We think that they should have a role, certainly. Whatever it looks like, though, George, it’s got to be responsive and representative of the Palestinian people, and certainly Hamas is not that.”

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

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