Israel-Hamas conflict: Netanyahu plans to hold Gaza indefinitely

The Israeli Prime Minister has asserted that Israel would indefinitely 'look after' the ‘security’ of Gaza once the war ends, news agencies reported on Tuesday

People in Gaza have lost count of the dead as the Israel-Hamas conflict completes a month on 7 Nov (photo: IANS)
People in Gaza have lost count of the dead as the Israel-Hamas conflict completes a month on 7 Nov (photo: IANS)

NH Digital

The Palestinians’ worst fear of a second ‘Nakba’ (catastrophe) appears to be coming true as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that Israel will have "the overall security responsibility" in Gaza "for an indefinite period".

Simply put, this means Israel plans to drive Palestinians out of northern Gaza and the West Bank, foist a pliable administration and take total control of the area.

One month after Hamas’s attack killed 1,400 people, the Israeli prime minister has said he would consider hour-long “tactical little pauses” in fighting to allow the entry of aid or the exit of hostages from the Gaza Strip, but rejected calls for a ceasefire.

Asked who should “govern” Gaza after fighting ends, Netanyahu told ABC News in an interview “Those who don’t want to continue the way of Hamas.”

He added: “Israel will for an indefinite period … have the overall security responsibility [in Gaza] because we’ve seen what happens when we don’t have that security responsibility.”

Even as the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres described Gaza as a "graveyard of children", the Palestinian health ministry put the death toll in Israeli bombing to close to 10,000, including 4,400 children and 2,600 women. Never have so many children been killed in so short a period in any conflict during the past three decades, Guterres added.

The death figures are most likely to go up as thousands are feared to be buried beneath the rubble of buildings destroyed in non-stop Israeli airstrikes and Gaza runs out of water, electricity, medicine, food and shelters. .

The United Nations has also lost the highest number of UN Aid workers, 89 of them, so far. UNRWA has deplored the fact that its shelters have been repeatedly hit by Israeli fire and they are no longer safe for those seeking refuge there. An UNRWA school in Jabalia camp north of Gaza City was directly hit by strikes which killed 15 people and injured 70 over the weekend.

The agency said that over 160,000 displaced people were sheltering in 57 of its facilities in Gaza City and in North Gaza before an evacuation order was issued by the Israeli Authorities on 12 October. UNRWA warned that it “is not able to access these shelters to assist or protect the internally displaced persons and does not have information on their needs and conditions”.

The United Nations and other world bodies, including the EU, consider Gaza as occupied territory – despite Israel withdrawing its forces from inside the Gaza strip in 2005 – as it has maintained effective control over the small territory by land, sea and air.

Anger and disappointment against Israel’s ‘war crimes’ and ‘crimes against humanity’ are mounting even in Western capitals and at least eight countries have so far recalled their Ambassadors from Israel. Bolivia has become the first country to completely sever diplomatic relations with Israel.

Countries which have recalled their Ambassador include Jordan, Turkey, South Africa, Bahrain, Colombia, Chile, Honduras and Chad.

There is a growing clamour to make Israel accountable for its action and even Jewish writers and artists have condemned the continuing devastation of Gaza. There is also a growing demand for a two-state solution and not allow Israel a free hand to occupy the whole of Palestine.

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