Photo Credit: Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan in Tel Aviv, Dec. 14, 2023.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a serious, blunt message to the Biden Administration on Saturday night, reiterating that regardless of American intentions, Israel will be the only entity to control security in Gaza after the Hamas terrorist organization is eradicated from the enclave. [Full text of Netanyahu’s statement is at the bottom of this article.]


The Biden Administration is continuing to pressure Israel into a post-war capitulation that would leave the “pay to slay” Palestinian Authority government, which rewards Arab terrorists with lifetime monthly payments for murdering Israelis, in control over Gaza.

“It is important to clarify this right now. Because between friends one must tell the truth and not foster illusions, all the more so on an existential and fateful issue like this,” Netanyahu said in a lengthy statement to the nation on Saturday night.

“So I repeat to our friends: after the elimination of Hamas, the Gaza Strip will be demilitarized, it will be under the security control of Israel, and there will be no factor in it that will threaten us and no factor that will educate its children to destroy us,” he emphasized.

In other words, no Ramallah government in Gaza.

US Leaves Open Possibility of Hamas Keeping Power, as Ramallah Throws Hamas a Lifeline

A spokesperson for the US State Department told the Tazpit Press Service on Thursday that “Palestinians’ voices and aspirations must be at the center of post-crisis governance in Gaza, unified with the West Bank under the [Palestinian Authority].

“We remain committed to working with the PA and Palestinian leadership on the critical work of strengthening Palestinian institutions … and reinforcing commitments to nonviolence and countering terrorism,” the spokesperson added.

Add to that President Joe Biden’s continued insistence that Israel plan ahead for a mandatory “two-state solution.”

This is, to be clear, delusional thinking.

It is the Palestinian Authority government in Ramallah that continues to this day to reward terrorists who attack and try to kill Israelis with lifetime monthly payments. The families of those who die in such attempts are likewise rewarded.

Such payments are grounds for terminating foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority under the “Taylor Force Act” in the United States, but who’s paying attention to that small detail?

Apparently, the White House is not concerned. Nor are those in living in the Palestinian Authority-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria, whose admiration for Hamas has skyrocketed since October 7.

Nearly 75% of PA Arabs Say Hamas Was Right to Attack Israel on Oct. 7

Nearly three in four Palestinian Authority Arabs believes that Hamas was right to launch its October 7th invasion of Israel, massacre at least 1,200 citizens and dual nationals and kidnap another 240 people to Gaza, according to the latest survey by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research.

The Ramallah-based institute polled 1,231 Arab adults in the Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria between Nov. 22 and Dec. 2, and found that 72 percent of respondents think Hamas was “correct” in carrying out the slaughter.

Worse, 89 percent of respondents denied the terrorists committed war crimes on October 7th, and a full 95 percent claimed Israel has breached international law during its defensive operation against Hamas in Gaza.

More ominously: More than half of respondents said Hamas is “the most deserving of representing and leading the Palestinian people today.”

If an election were held in the Palestinian Authority today, Hamas would receive 51 percent of the vote. In a leadership runoff between current PA chief Mahmoud Abbas would easily be ousted by current Hamas politburo chief Ismail Haniyeh, with the Hamas official getting 78 percent of the vote, and 88 percent of Arabs in the Palestinian Authority saying Abbas needs to resign.

Full Statement by PM Netanyahu:

“Citizens of Israel,

We are in a war for our existence, in which we must continue until victory, despite the international pressure and despite the unbearable cost that the war is exacting from us in our fallen sons and daughters. The State of Israel mourns the tragic deaths of three of our hostages: Alon Shamriz, Samar Talalka and Yotam Haim.

When I was updated about the terrible tragedy – it struck me hard. Alon, Samar and Yotam survived hell for 72 days, they were almost one step from freedom, they had touched redemption and then disaster struck. It broke my heart. It broke the entire country’s heart. Our heart goes out to the families in their time of deep mourning.

At this difficult time, it is important for me to stand by our soldiers. They are giving their lives to achieve a crushing victory over our enemies and return our hostages. We are doing – and will do – everything to safeguard the lives of our soldiers, each and every one of them, and we will use all means so that they are not hurt.

Since the tragedy yesterday, one thought has followed me: ‘What would have happened if something had been different?’ I am certain that we all share this thought. We were so close to embracing them now. But I regret that we cannot turn back the clock. Everyone who has fought on the battlefield knows that the distance between victory and disaster is a hair’s breadth. Out of the immense pain, we will learn and implement the lessons, and we will not relent in the military and diplomatic effort to safely return home all of our hostages.

With all of the deep sorrow, I would like to clarify: The military pressure is essential both for returning the hostages and achieving victory over our enemies. Without the military pressure, we would not have succeeded in creating an outline that led to the release of 110 hostages. And only continued military pressure will lead to the release of all of our hostages. My directive to the negotiating team is based on this pressure, without which we would have nothing.

Citizens of Israel,

On Thursday evening, we lit the last candle of Chanukah. In those days, in the fight for our existence, four of the five Hasmoneans fell and ensured the victory of Israel over an enemy that wanted to eradicate our people. In these days, in fierce battles in Jebalya, Sajaiya, Khan Yunis and other places, the Maccabees of our time have fallen in the fight against an enemy that wants to destroy us. We have lost dear heroes, soldiers and commander of unparalleled bravery and dedication, heroes that fell in battle so that we might continue to live in our land, so that the thread of our lives will not be cut.

Together with you, citizens of Israel, I stand by the bereaved families. I cry with them. Coming from a bereaved family, I know that until their last day they will not stop missing their loved ones and crying over what and who they have lost. I spoke with the widow and parents of Lt.-Col. Tomer Greenberg, the commander of the Golani Brigade’s 13th Battalion, who fell heroically this week together with his soldiers and those under his command. I told them what I say to all of my brothers and sisters from bereaved families, I know that the pain which rends your heart will never relent. But there is one comfort: To ensure that our heroes will not have fallen in vain, to ensure that we will continue to fight until absolute victory is achieved.

I also made this determination clear to US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan with whom I met on Thursday. I greatly appreciate the US support for Israel – in the assistance in returning our hostages, in the supply of munitions for the IDF, in blocking the attempts at the UN to stop the fighting, and in other things. I reiterate to our friends: We are more determined than ever to continue to the end – until we eliminate Hamas, return all of our hostages, and ensure that, with G-d’s help, there will not be any element that educates for terrorism, finances terrorism and dispatches terrorism.

I say this to the entire world; many around the world understand this and I repeat it this evening as well. This is not ‘politics’ but policy. This is my policy and today I can say: This is the desire of the vast majority of the country. I will not allow us to replace Hamastan with Fatahstan, that we replace Khan Yunis with Jenin. I will not allow the State of Israel to repeat the fateful mistake of Oslo, which brought to the heart of our country and to Gaza, the most extreme elements in the Arab world, which are committed to the destruction of the State of Israel and who educate their children to this end.

The debate between Hamas and Fatah is not ‘whether’ to eliminate the State of Israel but ‘how’ to do it. According to a poll that was carried out a few days ago, 82% of the Palestinian population in Judea and Samaria justifies the horrific massacre of October 7th. As of this moment, the Palestinian Authority senior leadership simply refuses to condemn the massacre and some of them even praise it openly. They will control Gaza on ‘the day after’? Haven’t we learned anything? As the Prime Minister of Israel, I will not allow that to happen.

It is important to make this clear now because among friends we must tell the truth and not foster illusions, how much more so on an existential and fateful issue such as this. Then I reiterate to our friends: After the elimination of Hamas, the Gaza Strip will be demilitarized, will be under Israeli security control, and no element in it will either threaten us or educate its children to destroy us.

I want to tell you, citizens of Israel, that while victory will take time, we are determined to continue until the end, despite the immense pain, despite the bereavement that rends our hearts, despite the international pressure. We will continue until the end. Nothing will stop us – until we achieve victory.

Together we will fight and, with G-d’s help, together we will win.”


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.