“The Palestinian Authority in its current form is not capable of taking responsibility in Gaza. Abu Mazen still refuses to condemn the massacre, and his senior ministers celebrate what happened.”
Summary of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks at the joint press conference with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Minister Benny Gantz:
Regarding the hostages, there are many unfounded rumors. Until this moment, there was no deal. But I want to assure you: when we have something to say – we will report it to you.
Inside the U.S. and around the world, there have been increasing heavy pressures against us in recent weeks. Many in the world asked us not to enter the Gaza Strip – we entered. They pressured us not to enter Gaza City – we entered. They warned us not to enter Shifa – we entered. They pressured us to agree to a full ceasefire – we refused, and I clarified: we will only agree to a temporary ceasefire, and only in exchange for the return of our captives. Together with my colleagues, I am resisting the pressures.
Military victory cannot be established without political backing, and political backing cannot be established without addressing both leaders and public opinion in their countries. This is exactly the effort I have been leading with my colleagues since the outbreak of the war. It is not taken for granted, it is an intensive political effort to maintain the support of the U.S. and many other countries.
Regarding humanitarian aid, Netanyahu said: First of all, Israel operates according to the laws of war. This is how our army works – the most moral army in the world. Humanitarian aid is vital also for the continued assurance of international support. Therefore, when the IDF and the Shin Bet recommended to the Cabinet to accept the American request to allow limited entry of two fuel tankers per day to the southern strip (to operate water and sewage pumps) – the War Cabinet agreed unanimously. Without this, we are expected to face an immediate outbreak of epidemics that will affect both the residents of the strip and IDF soldiers in the strip.
I will not agree that any entity supporting terror, paying terrorists and their families, and educating their children to murder Jews and annihilate the State of Israel, should enter Gaza. The Palestinian Authority in its current form is not capable of taking responsibility in Gaza. Abu Mazen, 43 days after the most terrible massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, still refuses to condemn, and his senior ministers celebrate what happened. His authority pays the murderers and their families. If there is no change in this, what have we done? Without a revolution in the civil administration that will be in Gaza, it’s only a matter of time until Gaza returns to terror, and I am not willing to agree to that.