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Is Benjamin Netanyahu’s Government Cracking? Defense Minister Yoav Gallant Makes Shocking Public Split Calling for Plan for Gaza After Hamas

Yoav Gallant

Yoav Gallant addresses nation (GPO)

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was hit by a shocking rebuke Wednesday night from his defense minister Yoav Gallant. In a public speech directed at Netanyahu personally, Gallant called on the Prime Minister to finally decide on who will govern in Gaza after the Iron Swords War against Hamas is over, calling Netanyahu’s indecisiveness on the matter a danger for Israel. And Netanyahu was not happy about it.

Yoav Gallant opened his remarks by listing Israel’s military successes in Gaza and acknowledging the many losses the Israeli public has suffered since the fighting began more than seven months ago. He also declared that the fighting capabilities of the Hamas terrorist organization have been destroyed, saying “Hamas no longer functions as a military organization – most of its battalions have been dismantled, and it has turned to terrorist warfare, conducted by individuals and small squads.”

However, Gallant went on to warn that as long as Hamas retains control over civilian life in Gaza, “it may rebuild and strengthen, thus requiring the IDF to return and fight, in areas where it has already operated.”

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The Defense Minister also warned that should Israel not make plans for a new civilian regime in Gaza then Hamas will return to power there.

“We must dismantle Hamas’ governing capabilities in Gaza,” he said. “The key to this goal is military action, and the establishment of a governing alternative in Gaza.”

Yoav Gallant further explained that in the absence of such an alternative, only two negative options remain. Either Hamas will rule in Gaza, or the Israeli military will be forced to rule in Gaza.

And Gallant declared his opposition to an Israeli military occupation saying, “I will not agree to the establishment of Israeli military rule in Gaza.”

The responsibility to dismantle Hamas and to retain full freedom of operation in the Gaza strip, lies on the defense establishment and the IDF, yet it depends on the creation of a governing alternative in Gaza, added Gallant.

“Since October, I have been raising this issue consistently in the Cabinet,
and have received no response,” he said.

Yoav Gallant lamented the failure of the Netanyahu government to deal with this issue saying, “Indecision, is in essence, a decision. This leads to a dangerous course, which promotes the idea of Israeli military and civilian governance in Gaza. This is a negative and dangerous option for the State of Israel strategically, militarily, and from a security standpoint.”

Gallant said that such indecision will “erode” Israel’s military achievements, lessen the pressure on Hamas, and “sabotage the chances of achieving a framework for the release of hostages.”

Military rule in Gaza would become the main security and military effort of the State of Israel over the coming years, Gallant declared, and at the expense of other arenas.

“The price paid would be bloodshed and victims, as well as a heavy economic price.”

Yoav Gallant asserted that once Hamas is gone Palestinian entities must take control of Gaza, accompanied by international actors, establishing a governing alternative to Hamas’ rule.

Yoav Gallant called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to make a decision and declare that Israel will not establish civilian control over the Gaza Strip, that Israel will not establish military governance in the Gaza Strip, and that a governing alternative to Hamas in the Gaza Strip will be raised immediately.

“Our nation is being put to a test,” said Yoav Gallant. “The people of Israel are watching, and expect us to make the right decisions.”

Benjamin Netanyahu felt the need to answer Yoav Gallant immediately, issuing a video message in response stating, “I am not prepared to replace ‘Hamastan’ with ‘Fatahstan’. The first condition for the day after is to eliminate Hamas and do it without excuses.”

Netanyahu was visibly annoyed in the video.

“Fatahstan” refers to the political faction Fatah which currently controls the Palestinian Authority (PA).



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