Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday (25 December) asserted that the prerequisites for peace between Israel and the Palestinians include the destruction of Hamas, the demilitarization of Gaza, and the deradicalization of Palestinian society.
In a opinion pieced published in the Wall Street Journal, Netanyahu outlined three prerequisites and reasserted his belief that the Palestinian Authority lacks the competence to rule the Gaza Strip post the defeat of Hamas, a viewpoint that has led to disagreements with the US President Joe Biden's administration.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that before there is peace between Israel and the Palestinians, “Hamas must be destroyed, Gaza must be demilitarized, and Palestinian society must be deradicalized.”
The Opinion piece also refrained from discussing a Palestinian state or a two-state resolution, concepts that Netanyahu consistently asserts his strong opposition to.
In relation to the primary prerequisite for peace, Netanyahu expressed that nations such as the US, UK, France, Germany, among others, are backing Israel's plan to dismantle the terror faction.
To realize this objective, the military strength of the group needs to be neutralised and their political dominance in Gaza must be terminated, he said.
"Hamas’s leaders have vowed to repeat the Oct. 7 massacre ‘again and again.’ That is why their destruction is the only proportional response to prevent the repeat of such horrific atrocities. Anything less guarantees more war and more bloodshed," Netanyahu added.
Netanyahu contended that the global community should hold Hamas responsible for the extensive civilian loss of life in the ongoing conflict, attributing it to the Palestinian terror organization's tactic of utilising Gaza's populace and health centers as human shields.
He asserted that Israel strives to reduce civilian casualties as much as possible.
Additionally, Netanyahu emphasized that Israel must guarantee Gaza is never utilized as a launch pad for attacks against the nation again.
Netanyahu stated that, among other measures, there is a need to set up a temporary security zone around Gaza's perimeter and implement an inspection process at the border between Gaza and Egypt.
This process should cater to Israel's security requirements and inhibit the illicit transportation of weapons into the region.
He commented on the alleged proposals for the Palestinian Authority to govern Gaza after the war, stating that the idea that the Palestinian Authority would disarm Gaza is unrealistic.
He further noted that Ramallah has not demonstrated either the ability or the desire to disarm Gaza.
He alleged that the PA is presently financing and celebrating terrorism in the West Bank, and teaching Palestinian children to pursue the demolition of Israel.
The prime minister stated that the third prerequisite for peace is a shift in Palestinian education.
He emphasized that schools should instill a love for life rather than glorifying death in children. Additionally, he insisted that imams should stop advocating for the killing of Jews.
“Palestinian civil society needs to be transformed so that its people support fighting terrorism rather than funding it,” he contended.
“That will likely require courageous and moral leadership,” said Netanyahu, attacking PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who “can’t even bring himself to condemn the Oct. 7 atrocities.”
Netanyahu pointed to the “successful deradicalization” that took place “in Germany and Japan after the Allied victory in World War II,” and said that “today, both nations are great allies of the US and promote peace, stability and prosperity in Europe and Asia.” He also said that after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, “visionary Arab leaders in the Gulf have led efforts to deradicalize their societies and transform their countries.”
“Once Hamas is destroyed, Gaza is demilitarized and Palestinian society begins a deradicalization process, Gaza can be rebuilt and the prospects of a broader peace in the Middle East will become a reality,” he concluded.
“For the foreseeable future Israel will have to retain overriding security responsibility over Gaza,” the premier also said, repeating a position that has put him at odds with the White House, which supports governance of Gaza by a “revamped” Palestinian Authority.
Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.
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