Home World News Gaza, says minister who batted for ‘dropping nuke’ Israel should ‘fully occupy

Gaza, says minister who batted for ‘dropping nuke’ Israel should ‘fully occupy

A far-right Israeli leader and a heritage minister in the Benjamin Netanyahu-led government on Friday (local time) said that Israel “should fully occupy the Gaza Strip”.

In an interview with Israel’s national broadcaster Kan public radio, Amichai Eliyahu, a member of the far-right Otzma Yehudit party, claimed that Palestinians were incapable of running the territory without turning it into a terror hotbed, The Times of Israel reported.

“Anyone who is today selling the idea that (the Palestinians) can go back to running things doesn’t remember what happened on (October 7),” he said.

Israel has been carrying out its counteroffensive on Hamas in Gaza since October 7, in retaliation for the attack launched by Hamas terrorists on the Jewish nation. In Israel, around 1,200 people have been killed while more than 18,000 people have lost their lives in Gaza.

During the interview, Eliyahu did not spell out in detail his vision of Israeli governance in Gaza. But when the minister was asked if Israel should be taking charge of civil and security affairs in Gaza, he said only the Palestinians cannot do so.

Eliyahu said he wanted “to re-establish settlements in Gaza, but asserted that “this isn’t necessarily the time for that”, The Times of Israel reported.

The far-right minister’s remarks came a month after he triggered controversy by saying that Israel should drop a nuclear bomb on Gaza as one of its options. His comments drew condemnation from various quarters in Israel. He was briefly suspended by Netanyahu.

Netanyahu has consistently said that Israel was fighting against Hamas to eliminate their presence in Gaza. He stated that his country had no plans to conquer, occupy or govern the Palestinian enclave.

Earlier this month, the Israeli Prime Minister said the Jewish nation would retain an open-ended security presence in Gaza and ruled out the possibility for the Palestinian Authority to return and govern the Strip.

In 2005, Israel withdrew its forces from Gaza and handed control of the Strip to the Palestinian Authority. However, Hamas seized control in 2007 and no elections have been held since then.