Hamas ‘cannot be eliminated,’ says Netanyahu ally, challenging PM’s war goals

Israeli National Security Advisor says Hamas cannot be eliminated and must instead be replaced with an ‘alternative idea.’

By World Israel News Staff

A key ally of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to challenge one of the premier’s central goals in the war against Hamas, declaring that the terrorist group cannot be “completely eliminated.”

Netanyahu’s National Security Advisor, Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud) – one of the prime minister’s closet confidants – addressed the Reichman University Herzliya Conference on Tuesday, discussing Israel’s plans for the Gaza Strip after the current war against Hamas is concluded.

Hanegbi did not disclose details of the government’s plan, but revealed that it would be implemented in northern Gaza in the near future.

The veteran Likud lawmaker and minister also appeared to contradict Netanyahu’s position regarding the future of Hamas and the terms for ending the conflict with Gaza.

Since October 7th, Netanyahu has repeatedly insisted that Israel will not accept a permanent end to the war until the Hamas terror organization has been completely eliminated.

“We will not end the war until we eliminate Hamas and return residents of the south safely to their homes,” Netanyahu reiterated Monday.

Yet at Tuesday’s conference, Hanegbi argued that the Gaza-based organization “cannot be completely eliminated, because it is an idea.”

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Instead, Hanegbi clarified that the government and the now defunct War Cabinet had specified that Israel must dismantle “the military and governmental capabilities of Hamas,” rather than the organization itself.

In the long-term, Hanegbi argued, Israel must replace Hamas with an “alternative idea,” without specifying how the Jewish state could so influence Gazan popular opinion.

“We can’t get rid of Hamas as an idea, there we need an alternative idea.”

Hanegbi suggested that an alternative government of moderate Gazans could be used to administer the coastal enclave after the war.

In his address, Hanegbi echoed comments by the Israeli military’s top spokesman, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, who said last week that the government must “find an alternative” to Hamas, since the terror group cannot be destroyed.

“Hamas is an idea, Hamas is a party. It’s rooted in the hearts of the people — anyone who thinks we can eliminate Hamas is wrong,” Hagari said last week.