As Hamas loses control of Gaza, Netanyahu vows Palestinian Authority won’t be brought in to replace it

Israel will always maintain security control over Gaza after Hamas is destroyed, says Netanyahu.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clarified Saturday night that while Hamas has effectively lost control of northern Gaza, the Palestinian Authority (PA) is not going to be brought back to administer the coastal enclave after the end of the current war.

“Hamas has lost control in the northern Gaza Strip,” Netanyahu said at a press conference, echoing the words of IDF chief spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari in his separate press update. “They have no safe place to hide. From [Hamas chief Yihye] Sinwar until the last of the terrorists, all of Hamas, will die.”

The IDF has completed its encirclement of Hamas stronghold Gaza City, he stated. “They are acting in the heart of city and on the outskirts of Shifa Hospital,” which has a vast network of terror tunnels underneath it where top Hamas officials are hiding.

Hagari denied accusations by an Arab lawmaker, MK Aida Touma-Suleiman, that Israel has used chemical weapons against Shifa hospital.

Touma-Suleiman posted on Twitter Saturday that “there is the smell of phosphorus in the air” in the hospital, accusing the IDF of using the outlawed bombs on the medical center.

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“Reports of an attack on Shifa Hospital are lies. We told the Shifa staff that the IDF is not attacking the hospital” at all.

Rather, Hagari added, there are pinpoint strikes at Hamas terrorists around the medical center, because that is where they are attacking from.

Hamas’ practice of embedding armed forces in civilian areas is contrary to international law.

“We will not stop until the mission is accomplished,” the prime minister vowed, “and it has one goal – to win. There is no substitute for victory…. We will destroy Hamas and bring back our hostages,” which, he added, “is a central aim of the war” and “at the top of the priority list” for the entire government.

He repeated again what has become a mantra against international pressure for “a humanitarian ceasefire” in Gaza due to Hamas propaganda that Gazans have no more fuel or food, when the terror organization has hoarded and stolen both from its citizens.

There will be no ceasefire without the return of our hostages.”

As for “the day after,” Netanyahu noted, it would be impossible to allow the PA to take charge of Gaza after Hamas was destroyed.

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“There will not be a civil authority there that educates their children to hate Israel, to kill Israelis, or to eliminate Israel,” he said. “There cannot be an authority there that pays the families of murderers. There cannot be an authority who didn’t condemn the massacre.”

In addition, “The massacre of the seventh of October proved once and for all that in any place that Israel does not control security-wise, terror returns, gets established, and ends up hitting us – and this has been proven as well in Judea and Samaria,” he said. “So I will not agree to relinquishing our security control under any circumstances.”

The PA is in ostensible control of some 40% of the territory, but terror attacks on the Jewish population in the part that is under complete Israeli control occur multiple times a day. The IDF has been conducting anti-terror raids in PA cities and villages constantly since the war began, and has arrested some 1,400 terrorists to date, belonging to both Hamas and the PA’s Fatah movement.