Surrender, exile of Hamas instead of Rafah invasion: Minister

“The terrorists will be deported to Qatar, Syria, Turkey or Iran,” Sa’ar proposed.

By World Israel News Staff

Minister-without-Portfolio Gideon Sa’ar proposed that Israel should offer Hamas’ elite the opportunity to surrender and be exiled from the Gaza Strip in order to end the war, as an alternative to a full-scale invasion of Rafah.

The U.S. and European Union have been heavily pressuring Israel to avoid an incursion into the southern city, which is widely viewed as the last Hamas stronghold in the coastal enclave.

In recent days, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged that Israeli forces will enter Rafah, regardless of the Biden administration’s warnings that such an operation would be considered crossing “a red line” by Washington.

Israel has maintained that a military operation in the city is necessary for delivering a final blow to the terror organization.

“At this moment, when the whole world is challenging Israel’s plan of action in Rafah, Israel should [offer] the possibility of surrender and exile of Hamas’ military branch members and operatives as a way to bring an orderly end to the war,” Sa’ar wrote Thursday afternoon on his X account.

“The terrorists will be deported to Qatar, Syria, Turkey or Iran, in a move similar to the expulsion of the PLO and its terrorists from Beirut in September 1982,” Sa’ar continued.

“This [deal] will, of course, require the return of all the abductees. Within this framework, it will also be possible to consider the deportation of additional Hamas detainees” currently imprisoned in Israel, he added.

He acknowledged that the probability of such an agreement coming to fruition was “low,” but said that it was an acceptable compromise in light of intense international pressure not to invade Rafah and to alleviate “human suffering” in Gaza.

Sa’ar, who once served as Justice Minister, defected from Likud in 2019 to form his own party, New Hope.

He entered a political alliance with Benny Gantz to form the Blue and White party in the 2022 elections, and is a member of the current emergency wartime government.