New Delhi, Nov 7: In a recent interview with ABC News, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed that Israel will assume “overall security responsibility” for Gaza following the cessation of hostilities for an “indefinite period.” Netanyahu staunchly resists calls for a general ceasefire but suggests the possibility of shorter “humanitarian pauses.”
“Israel will, for an indefinite period, have the overall security responsibility. When we do not have that security responsibility, what we have is the eruption of terrorism on a scale that we could not imagine,” Netanyahu emphasized.
He went on to state, “There will be no ceasefire – general ceasefire – in Gaza, without the release of our hostages. As far as tactical, short pauses – an hour here, an hour there – we have had them before. I suppose we will check the circumstances to enable humanitarian goods to come in or our individual hostages to leave.”
Israel’s Defence Minister, Yoav Gallant, echoed Netanyahu’s sentiments during a session of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee. Gallant declared, “At the end of the war, the Israeli army will have full freedom of action in Gaza without limitations on operations. The security system under my leadership is focused on two key things: victory in the war and returning the hostages.”
Netanyahu’s announcement raises concerns about a potential occupation in Gaza, similar to the arrangement that existed for thirty years until 2005. Under this new arrangement, Gaza would share similarities with the West Bank, where Israeli forces are responsible for security.
The situation evokes memories of the Oslo Accords, the first Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement from the 1990s, which designated parts of the West Bank under Palestinian municipal control with Israeli security responsibility.
The acceptance of this new arrangement by Palestinians, the Arab world and the United Nations remains a major question. Time will tell how events unfold amid the immense human tragedy that has unfolded in Gaza since October 7. The conflict began when Israel retaliated against attacks, leading to the killing of innocent Israeli civilians and the abduction of more than 200 individuals, who have been held by Hamas for the past 30 days.