Netanyahu outlines 3 preconditions for peace: Hamas must be destroyed, Gaza demilitarized, Palestinians deradicalized

The prime minister dismisses the U.S.-supported notion that a ‘revamped’ Palestinian Authority could take control of the Strip, saying it currently funds terror educates children to destroy Israel.

By Meir Dolev, World Israel News

In an opinion piece published in the Wall Street Journal on Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outlined his vision for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, emphasizing the destruction of Hamas, demilitarization of Gaza, and the deradicalization of Palestinian society as preconditions.

Netanyahu also doubled down on his stance that the Palestinian Authority was not a viable option to preside over Gaza following the defeat of Hamas, a position that contrasts with the views of President Joe Biden’s administration. Netanyahu argued that the PA, which he accuses of funding and glorifying terrorism, lacks the capability and willingness to demilitarize Gaza. He slammed PA President Mahmoud Abbas who “can’t even bring himself to condemn” the October 7 atrocities and equated the PA’s policies with those of Hamas.

Netanyahu writes:

The expectation that the Palestinian Authority will demilitarize Gaza is a pipe dream. It currently funds and glorifies terrorism in Judea and Samaria and educates Palestinian children to seek the destruction of Israel. Not surprisingly it has shown neither the capability nor the will to demilitarize Gaza. It failed to do so before Hamas booted it out of the territory in 2007, and it has failed to do so in the territories under its control today. For the foreseeable future Israel will have to retain overriding security responsibility over Gaza.

Netanyahu’s omitted mention of the release of the 129 hostages taken by Hamas during its violent attack on October 7.

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Neither did he raise the notion of a Palestinian state or a two-state solution.

Addressing his first condition for peace, Netanyahu stated, “the US, UK, France, Germany, and many other countries support Israel’s intention to demolish the terror group. To achieve that goal, its military capabilities must be dismantled and its political rule over Gaza must end.” He added that the destruction of Hamas is essential to prevent further atrocities, citing the group’s vow to repeat the October 7 massacre “again and again.”

Netanyahu emphasized Israel’s efforts to minimize civilian casualties, attributing the high number of civilian deaths to Hamas’s use of human shields.

The second condition involves ensuring that Gaza cannot be used as a base for attacks against Israel. This would include establishing a security zone around Gaza and an inspection mechanism on the border with Egypt to prevent weapon smuggling, he said.

Regarding the third precondition, Netanyahu called for a transformation of Palestinian civil society, emphasizing the need for education that values life over death and religious teachings that do not incite violence against Jews. “Schools must teach children to cherish life rather than death,” he said.

Drawing parallels with post-World War II Germany and Japan, as well as changes in the Gulf states following September 11, 2001, Netanyahu expressed his belief in the possibility of successful deradicalization.

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Netanyahu concluded by stating that once Hamas is destroyed, Gaza is demilitarized, and Palestinian society begins to deradicalize, there will be an opportunity to rebuild Gaza and work towards broader peace in the Middle East. He emphasized that in the meantime, Israel must retain security control over Gaza for the foreseeable future.