| 4 March 2024, Monday |

Israel has no intention on staying permanently in Gaza, defence minister says

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant stated on Monday that his country was open to discussing other options for governing the territory, provided that the entity in question was not an adversarial one toward Israel, and that Israel had no plans to remain in the Gaza Strip indefinitely.

“Israel will take any measures in order to destroy Hamas, but we have no intention to stay permanently in the Gaza Strip. We only take care of our security and the security of our citizens alongside the border with Gaza,” Gallant told reporters.

Gallant also said that Israel was open to possibly reaching an agreement with Iran-backed militant group Hezbollah in Lebanon, on condition any agreement included a safe zone along the border and proper guarantees.

“We will have the ability for destructive action and reaction, with results like those we see in Gaza. I assume Hezbollah takes that into account,” he said.

“If Hezbollah will allow an agreement process, and I won’t go now into its details, but clearly it cannot be that it does not include a situation in which there is a safe distance from our fence to forces that could shoot into Israeli territory or forces that could take action inside Israel. If this is possible, with the appropriate guarantee, we can talk about it.”

  • Reuters