Israeli Defense Minister Challenges Netanyahu on Long-Term Plan for Gaza

Ben Gvir and other Israeli politicians are calling for Gallant to be fired for saying non-Hamas Palestinian rule should be established

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Wednesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must formulate a plan for a post-war Gaza and reject the idea of Israeli military rule.

Gallant said that if non-Hamas Palestinian rule doesn’t get established, Hamas will be able to re-establish itself in areas where its military has been dismantled. “As long as Hamas retains control over civilian life in Gaza, it may rebuild and strengthen [itself], thus requiring the IDF to return and fight in areas where it has already operated.”

“In the absence of such an alternative, only two negative options remain: Hamas’ rule in Gaza or Israeli military rule in Gaza. The meaning of indecision is choosing one of the negative options,” Gallant added.

The Israeli defense minister said that he has repeatedly brought up the issue with the Israeli security cabinet but that his concerns have been ignored. Gallant said he would not “agree to the establishment of Israeli military rule in Gaza” and called on Netanyahu to reject the idea of a military occupation “even with the possibility of personal or political costs.”

Netanyahu has said Israel must maintain security control over Gaza indefinitely and has strongly rejected the idea of establishing a Palestinian state. Netanyahu hit back at Gallant, saying he is not “willing to replace Hamastan with Fatahstan,” referring to Fatah, the political faction that heads the Palestinian Authority.

Netanyahu said the issue of post-war Gaza shouldn’t be discussed until Hamas is defeated, a goal that the US believes is unrealistic. “Therefore, the first condition for replacing Hamas with another factor is to destroy Hamas – and to do it without excuses,” he said.

Some Israeli ministers and lawmakers have called for Gallant to be fired over his remarks, including Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, leader of the Jewish Power party.

“From Gallant’s point of view, there is no difference between whether Gaza is controlled by IDF soldiers or whether Hamas murderers control it,” Ben Gvir said. “This is the essence of the conception of a defense minister who failed on October 7, and continues to fail even now. Such a defense minister must be replaced in order to achieve the goals of the war.”

Ben Gvir and other Israeli politicians openly support the idea of re-establishing Jewish settlements in Gaza and expelling the Palestinians. Ben Gvir and Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi, a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party, attended a march in Israel on Tuesday calling for the Israeli takeover of the Strip. “In order to preserve the security achievements that our soldiers lost their lives for, we must resettle Gaza with security forces and settlers that will embrace the land with love,” Karhi said at the march.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.