Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
Bezalel Smotrich and Yoav Gallant at a Knesset plenum session, December 14, 2022.

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich has sent a letter to Defense Minister Yoav Gallant claiming that contrary to what was decided at the political level, the defense establishment is already planning for the day after the victory over Hamas, and the security officials who are doing the planning are the same ones who gave us the “conceptzia,” namely the strategy that suggested Hamas was afraid of an all-out confrontation with Israel and could be tamed with more jobs for Gaza Arabs in Israel and more money, Israel Hayom reported on Sunday.

That concepzia was drowned in the blood of some 1200 innocent Israelis, most of them women, children infants, and elderly.

The funeral of Ayala Hetzroni, 73, and Liel Hetzroni, 12, who were murdered by Hamas terrorists on October 7. / Chaim Goldberg/Flash90

“From the information that reaches me, it appears that parts of the security apparatus have begun to formulate the concept for the State of Israel on the day after the victory in the war,” Smotrich complains, even though the political echelon has distinctly decided “not to deal with the question of ‘the day after’ at the moment,” and “this is not a justification for the Defense Minister or the security apparatus to seize the authority to do this themselves, thus putting the cart before the horse and determining facts on the ground in preparation for the replacement of Hamas with the Palestinian Authority in Gaza.”

Smotrich cited news reports asserting that the Central Command appointed an officer to discuss the strengthening of the Palestinian Authority the day after and that the IDF’s Planning Division is employing researchers from the Institute for National Security Studies to discuss the matter.

Smotrich reminded Gallant that the same National Security Studies was behind the conceptzia that put the IDF to sleep ahead of October 7.

“After we achieve the victory with God’s help, we will deal with the question of the civil administration of the Strip on the day after,” Smotrich wrote and cautioned that “Dealing with this issue at this stage will inevitably bring us into disputes within ourselves and probably also into conflict with the American government, thus damaging the national resilience and our ability to win and achieve the agreed upon goals of the war. For that reason, I am not dealing now with the issue of the day after.”

“However, I cannot accept a situation whereby while we act responsibly and avoid dealing with questions that may cause controversy, there are those who take advantage of this to promote their agendas, deal with it from their point of view, and forcing the State of Israel into a dangerous corral that would be difficult to exit,” Smotrich wrote.

He demanded that Defense Minister Gallant “immediately order the IDF and the Ministry of Defense to cease dealing with the issue and disband the teams that have been established for this purpose,” as well as, “immediately separate the researchers at the Institute for National Security Studies from their reserves service in their field.”

“Israel after October 7 is not the same country it used to be,” Smotrich wrote Gallant. “Truths that were our lot in the past are no longer relevant. institutions that were part of and even led the old perceptions can no longer lead the work of formulating solutions.”


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