Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has justified the killing of more than 300 Palestinians near the eastern fence of the besieged enclave.
Netanyahu said that Israel used force “wisely” in the Gaza Strip. In an interview with Israel Hayom, Netanyahu said: “More than 300 Palestinians have been killed near the border when they tried to breach the fence and abduct our soldiers. We have used force wisely, and powerfully.”
Netanyahu also said that his government’s policy led Hamas, the ruler of the besieged Strip, to suffer the severest economic crisis. “They [Gazans] are in enormous economic distress, and Hamas is in check and wants some quiet so it can stand up to the huge pressure in Gaza,” he said.
He added: “The economic distress is its own problem, but the humanitarian distress is our problem. Issues with sanitation, disease, things that could make their way to us. So we’re saying: Prevent problems from occurring and create deterrence. The goal is deterrence, but so is preventing environmental and humanitarian problems that could harm Israel.”
Asked how to “deal” with Gaza, Netanyahu replied: “The real choice is to occupy and govern Gaza. You don’t have anyone to give it to. I won’t give it to Abu Mazen [Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas].
“The connection between Gaza and [the occupied West Bank] has been broken. They are two separate entities, and I think that in the long term, that’s not something that’s bad for Israel,” he added.
“Abu Mazen brought that upon himself. He cut back the influx of PA funds [to Gaza]. He thought that by doing so, he could send Gaza up in flames. We would pay for the occupation of Gaza with a heavy loss of life, and on Israel’s back he [Abbas] would get Gaza on a silver platter. That won’t happen.”
He continued: “The money he cut is Palestinian money. Israel isn’t paying. That money was covered by the Qataris and stopped Abu Mazen’s plan from coming to fruition, as well as cutting Gaza off from [the West Bank].”
“If anyone thought there would be a Palestinian state that would surround us on both sides. That isn’t something that’s going to happen.”