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Israeli Prime Minister under criticism: Benjamin Netanyahu


Abir Sultan / dpa

Benjamin Netanyahu has been criticized in the Gaza war. Parts of the population blame the Israeli prime minister for the fact that Hamas' terrorist attack was possible. And his statements in the course of the war are obviously not reliable either.

On Friday night, the conservative US channel Fox News published an interview with Netanyahu in which the head of state said that Israel had no intention of controlling the Gaza Strip after the war. This coincided with previous statements from Jerusalem, such as senior Netanyahu adviser Mark Regev saying last week that no continued occupation of the area was being sought.

Now, however, Netanyahu has apparently changed course in a conversation with representatives of Israeli border towns. According to the report, the Israeli military should retain control of the area after the war. It will not be left to international forces, he said, according to media reports.

Netanyahu had already caused a stir on Monday with vague statements. He told ABC that Israel wanted to take "overall responsibility for security" in the Gaza Strip for an indefinite period of time. Regev reassured: It was only a matter of a "security presence", not of political control.

Two addressees, two stories

The Jerusalem Post then headlined an article with the words: "Netanyahu tells two stories to Israelis and Americans." The Times of Israel also reports on the contradictory statements, citing the text of a spokesman's speech.

Fox had previously told Netanyahu that Israel was not trying to conquer, govern or occupy the Gaza Strip. "But we want to give him and us a better future in the entire Middle East. And to do that, Hamas must be defeated." There is no timetable, "because it may take more time," Netanyahu said. The Gaza Strip must be demilitarized, de-radicalized and rebuilt.

U.S. officials have been communicating the idea in recent weeks that international troops, possibly from Arab allies, could provide security in the Gaza Strip during a transitional period. The troops could then make way for a functioning Palestinian government, according to the hope in Washington.