Jerusalem, Nov 16 (EFE).- President Isaac Herzog said on Thursday that only the Israeli military could ensure security in Gaza after the war with Hamas ends, the Islamist group is dismantled, and a new regime is established in the Palestinian enclave.
“Who can guarantee the security of those who have suffered the worst atrocity of their lives?” Herzog asked in an interview with EFE, asserting that “right now, the only ones who can do it are the Israel Defense Forces.”
However, the president stressed that Israel did not aspire to alter the status quo and was not eager to assume security control in the enclave after defeating Hamas.
“All we intend is to protect the security of our citizens. I believe it is our duty. The real obligation of any government is to protect its citizens,” he told EFE at the presidential residence in Jerusalem on the 41st day of the war.
“We hope that once we have destroyed all their terrorist infrastructure above and below ground and brought back the hostages, there will be a new regime in Gaza that also brings hope to the Palestinians in Gaza for a better future, which they have long deserved.”
Herzog indicated that they had engaged in “open and frank” discussions with the United States and European countries regarding post-war security in the Gaza Strip.
However, as president, he did not express a clear stance on the matter, emphasizing that it is not his role to make that decision.
In contrast, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly asserted that Israel should indefinitely assume control of security in Gaza, despite denying intentions to militarily occupy the Palestinian territory.
President Herzog reiterated that the Israeli military operation in the strip was Israel’s “right to defend itself,” a perspective he noted is understood and respected by many countries.
“The only way to defend ourselves is to enter Gaza and eliminate the terrorists, capturing or killing them. They hide in civilian infrastructure,” he said.
The Israeli military offensive has killed more than 11,500 Palestinians in the strip.
Israel has been relentless in its airstrikes on Gaza since Hamas militants infiltrated Israeli territory on Oct. 7, resulting in the deaths of 1,200 people and the abduction of 240 hostages into Gaza.