- Likud Minister Says ‘No Way to Avoid’ Temporary Gaza Takeover to Disarm Hamas
But Yuval Steinitz says it’s not yet time for IDF to clear Palestinian enclave of terror groups; calls for unilateral ceasefire as Palestinians can’t be trusted to keep a deal
Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, said Wednesday that in his view, Israel will at some point need to conquer the Gaza Strip in order to disarm the Hamas terror group.
His remarks came after Palestinian terror groups in the Gaza Strip launched thousands of rockets at Israel since last Monday. Israel has responded by conducting hundreds of airstrikes on targets in the Palestinian enclave amid increasing pressure from the international community for a ceasefire.
“Nobody will disarm Hamas unless we do it by force,” Steinitz told the Ynet news site, suggesting what would be a significant escalation of the conflict, as Israeli military action is so far limited to airstrikes.
“There will be no way to avoid one day temporarily taking over Gaza,” he said. “That day has not arrived for all kinds of reasons. I think the day will come, if not now then in the coming years.”