Mahmoud Abbas to rule Gaza? ‘Not on my watch,’ says Netanyahu

Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas reportedly interested in taking back control over the Gaza Strip – but Prime Minister Netanyahu says he will never support bringing PA back.

By David Rosenberg, World Israel News

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed he would never permit the Palestinian Authority to resume its control over the Gaza Strip, shooting down the idea of PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas governing the coastal enclave after the current war between Israel and Hamas.

On Wednesday, Sky News reported that Abbas, the 88-year-old Palestine Liberation Organization chairman and leader of the Palestinian Authority, has expressed interested in returning PA rule to the Gaza Strip once the current conflict in the Strip is resolved.

The PA administered the Gaza Strip from the PA’s formation in 1994 until Hamas seized control of the Strip in 2007, expelling Mohammed Dahlan, chief of the Palestinian Authority’s National Security Council.

Later on Wednesday, however, Netanyahu shot down the idea, vowing to bar the Palestinian Authority – and Mahmoud Abbas in particular – from ever ruling Gaza again.

“So long as I am prime minister, this won’t happen,” Netanyahu tweeted.

“Anyone who educates his [people’s] children in terrorism, who funds terrorism and gives money to the families of terrorists, cannot govern Gaza after we have annihilated Hamas.”

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This is not the first time Netanyahu has ruled out returning Gaza to PA control after the current war.

On Saturday night, the prime minister told reporters that Israel will need to maintain security control over the coastal enclave after the war.

“We have to build something different,” Netanyahu said.

“The PA doesn’t fight terror it supports it. It doesn’t educate for peace, it educates for the destruction of Israel.”

The PA “isn’t the entity that needs to enter” Gaza.