The Israeli leader says a “civilian government” should rule the enclave after Hamas’ defeat.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country does not intend to occupy or rule Gaza after the end of the war with Hamas, but that the enclave must be “demilitarized, de-radicalized and rebuilt.”

In an interview with Fox News broadcast on Thursday, Netanyahu said Israel needed to find a “civilian government” to govern the enclave, which has been ruled by Hamas since 2006, without specifying who would form such a body.

“We don’t want to rule Gaza, we don’t want to occupy it. But we want to give her and us a better future… and to do that we have to defeat Hamas,” he said. “I have set goals, I have not set a schedule because it may take longer.”

Netanyahu said a “credible force” was needed to enter Gaza to “kill the murderers” and “prevent the re-emergence of a Hamas-like entity.”

Netanyahu’s comments came days after he said Israel would assume responsibility for security in the Gaza Strip for an “undetermined period” after the end of its war with Hamas, prompting backlash from the United States.

On Tuesday, White House national security spokesman John Kirby said President Joe Biden does not believe reoccupying Gaza is “the right thing to do.”

Israel withdrew its soldiers and Israeli settlers from Gaza in 2005 but continues to maintain a blockade that controls almost all access to the Hamas-ruled enclave by land, air and sea.

U.S. officials have previously suggested that the Palestinian Authority should govern the Gaza Strip after the war, which Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said would only be possible as part of a political solution that returns territory captured by Israel in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

Netanyahu reiterated his opposition to a ceasefire with Hamas on Thursday as the Biden administration announced that its ally had agreed to daily four-hour pauses in fighting to allow civilians to flee hostilities.

“A ceasefire with Hamas means a surrender to Hamas, a surrender to terror,” Netanyahu said, adding that the Israeli military had performed “extraordinarily well” and would continue its campaign “however long it takes.” “.

Israel has vowed to eliminate Hamas in response to the armed group’s attacks on the country on October 7, which Israeli officials said killed 1,405 people, mostly civilians.

According to the Ministry of Health in the enclave, the Israeli bombardment of Gaza has killed at least 10,569 Palestinians, including 4,324 children.

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