Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday that he had spoken with many Arab leaders about the possibility of taking over the Gaza Strip – but there were ‘no takers’.
In an interview with Israeli Reshet Bet radio, Netanyahu also said that the Zionist occupation army “may be forced” to carry out an operation in Gaza, but added that such a step would only be taken “after every alternative had been explored.”
“All the options are still on the table, including entering Gaza and occupying it, out of consideration of what is best for Israel,” he said.
“But that is the last option and not the first,” he said.
Netanyahu spoke about his policy with regard to the coastal enclave just before he left for Moscow on Thursday, and few days before the Israeli elections.
“We are hitting them, because you can’t reach political settlement with someone who wants to annihilate you. I don’t know if we can reach long-term calm, but one thing I do know – I do not launch unnecessary wars.”
“I use force when necessary and I’m willing to pay the price, but only when necessary. I’m also willing to pay the political price even when I don’t have to,” Netanyahu continued, conceding that “we may have to embark on a wide-scale military operation in the Gaza Strip, but this would be the last option.”
He explained the “complex balancing act” the Zionist entity tries to uphold with regard to Gaza, but has concluded it would be a mistake to do except as an option of last resort.
“Israel hasn’t recaptured Gaza, because once it does, it would have to continue to hold onto that territory and Israel doesn’t want to rule the 2 million Palestinians there,” Netanyahu said.
The other option would be to hand the Gaza Strip to another country so it could take charge of that territory and no one else has volunteered, he added, referring to Arab states.
When he first entered office, Netanyahu said, he had hoped that another power would want to take charge of Gaza.
“I had hoped that we would find someone who would take it,” Netanyahu said.
Source: Israeli media