Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a press conference at the Ministry of Defense in Tel Aviv. Nov. 22, 2023. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday presented conditions for peace between Israel and the Palestinians: 1) the destruction of Hamas; 2) the demilitarization of Gaza and 3) the deradicalization of Palestinian society.
“These are the three prerequisites for peace between Israel and its Palestinian neighbors in Gaza,” he wrote in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal.
“The U.S., U.K., France, Germany and many other countries support Israel’s intention to demolish the terror group,” he wrote, saying that to achieve its goal, Israel needs to wipe out Hamas’s military and political infrastructure.
He argued that because Hamas has promised to repeat Oct. 7 “again and again” the only proportional response is to completely eliminate it.
He warned that “unjustly blaming” Israel for civilian casualties “will only encourage Hamas and other terror organizations around the world to use human shields. To render this cruel and cynical strategy ineffective, the international community must place the blame for these casualties squarely on Hamas. It must recognize that Israel is fighting the bigger battle of the civilized world against barbarism.”
Secondly, Gaza must be demilitarized so that it can’t again become a terror base from which to attack Israel, he said, calling for a temporary security zone between Israel and Gaza and an inspection mechanism between Gaza and Egypt.
“The expectation that the Palestinian Authority will demilitarize Gaza is a pipe dream. It currently funds and glorifies terrorism in Judea and Samaria and educates Palestinian children to seek the destruction of Israel,” he wrote. “Not surprisingly it has shown neither the capability nor the will to demilitarize Gaza. It failed to do so before Hamas booted it out of the territory in 2007, and it has failed to do so in the territories under its control today. For the foreseeable future Israel will have to retain overriding security responsibility over Gaza.”
Third, Gaza will have to be deradicalized, he said, noting that the school system will have to be reformed so that children are taught to “cherish life rather than death.” Preaching death to Jews from mosques must cease and Palestinian civil society transformed, he continued.
“Successful deradicalization took place in Germany and Japan after the Allied victory in World War II. Today, both nations are great allies of the U.S. and promote peace, stability and prosperity in Europe and Asia,” Netanyahu said.
“Once Hamas is destroyed, Gaza is demilitarized and Palestinian society begins a deradicalization process, Gaza can be rebuilt and the prospects of a broader peace in the Middle East will become a reality,” he concluded.