According to Reshet Bet Radio, the Biden administration contacted Israeli officials and asked what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meant Saturday night when he said that the IDF would maintain full security control over the Gaza Strip after the end of the war.
Netanyahu said: “As to the talk about the day after, this will only come after Hamas has been eliminated, and Gaza is demilitarized and no longer able to threaten the State of Israel. In order to ensure that there is no such threat, the IDF will continue to have security control over the Gaza Strip for as long as necessary to prevent terrorism there. The massacre on October 7 proved once and for all that wherever there is no Israeli security control, terrorism will return and establish itself; therefore, I will not agree to concede security control under any circumstances.”
That was a bit embarrassing to the Americans, especially after Secretary of State Anthony Blinken had been telling anyone who would listen last week, most emphatically the leaders of pro-Western Arab nations, that the day after Israel’s victory over Hamas, control over the Gaza Strip would be handed to the Palestinian Authority, together with Judea and Samaria. And so, the Americans want some explanations.
Netanyahu had some unkind things to say about French President Emmanuel Macron’s BBC interview on Saturday, in which Macron said there was “no justification” for Israel’s bombing of Gaza, and urged Israel to declare a ceasefire, a move that he said would benefit Israel. Macron said that he recognized Israel’s right to protect itself, and still, “we do urge them to stop this bombing.”
Earlier, Macron said Israel must not kill innocent civilians and children in Gaza and ignored completely Hamas’s strategy of using civilians as human shields.
The Prime Minister attacked Macron, telling reporters, “He made a grave mistake, both factually and morally. I say to the French president and our other friends – this will reach you, too, and therefore we need to establish not only a line of a just war of its kind but also a moral line like no other – that does not give shelter and protection to those who commit a double war crime (against Israel and against their own population – DI). We are doing everything to reduce harm to those who are not involved, but we will not give Hamas the license to murder our citizens without our response. We do not need these moral sermons.”
The prime minister’s office released a statement to the BBC saying, “The crimes that Hamas is committing today in Gaza will be committed tomorrow in Paris, New York and anywhere else in the world.”