Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Israel will "retain complete freedom of action to respond to any situation in the Gaza Strip" once the war ends.
Speaking at the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Tuesday morning, Gallant said that "at the end of this 'campaign,' Hamas, as a military organization or governing body in Gaza, will cease to exist." Gallant's comments were published on the Ynet news website.
"There will be no security threat to Israel from Gaza, and Israel will retain complete freedom of action, to respond to any situation in the Gaza Strip that poses any kind of threat," Gallant can be heard saying on the Ynet recording.
Gallant’s comments echo those of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who on Monday said in an interview with ABC News that Israel will have the "overall security responsibility" in Gaza for an “indefinite period” after the war ends.
Taken together, the comments shed light on the Israeli government’s plans for post-war Gaza. Government officials have not yet elaborated on how Gaza would be governed should they succeed in eliminating Hamas.
Remember: US President Joe Biden warned Israel last month that re-occupying Gaza would be a mistake.
Gallant also said on the Ynet recording that the war's top priority was to "eliminate this phenomenon called Hamas," and that he was personally focused on "victory in the war" and returning Israeli hostages home.