Minister Gideon Sa'ar
Minister Gideon Sa'arHaim Twitto

Minister Gideon Sa’ar spoke on Sunday at the 21st Jerusalem Conference, saying he believes elections should be held as soon as possible - but the date should be determined after the war.

"I'm in favor of moving up the elections, but I don't think we need to think about elections during the war. First of all we have to defeat the enemies and then there will be wars for the Jews," stressed Sa'ar.

"There are those who miss the Jewish wars, they must have it. In my eyes, it's not the most important thing right now, I'm in favor of moving up the elections but only after we end, with God's help, the war against the enemies," he added.

When asked if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should step down, he replied, "My views have not changed, but we are in a time of war, and in a time of war I deliberately avoid entering into any internal political controversy. I stay away from anything that does not strengthen the people of Israel and the State of Israel - therefore there is no point in commenting on these things. He is currently the Prime Minister, we entered the government against the background that the people of Israel are at war, and we want to internally strengthen unity and resistance to external pressures."

Sa'ar commented on the issue of the length of the ceasefire in exchange for the release of hostages as part of a deal with Hamas. "The question of the truce is one that has an advantage not only for one side. In any case, I agree that it should be for a reasonable time. We got the concept that the truce is part of the outline in the first deal. I would not blow up the negotiations over that."

"The principle that it is important to release the hostages is true. The principle that one should not act on the assumption of a deal at any price is also true because when you start with this assumption - you increase the price - and in fact move the outline further away instead of bringing it closer," Sa'ar pointed out.

"I'm not sure yet that we are close to agreeing to an outline. There is also a very problematic other side that until now has taken very extreme positions that we could not accept, and we still cannot accept them today. The question is whether all the demands for the cessation of the war, for a comprehensive exit from the Gaza Strip, that we cannot accept, whether they are still on the table or not."

To the question of who he thinks will rule the Gaza Strip after the war, Sa'ar replied, "The whole game of who will rule the Gaza Strip is a bit artificial as long as Hamas is standing on its feet. It is a terrorist regime, which is directed first of all against its own people, and from time to time you see how they abuse civilians, including women and children who come to take humanitarian aid. That is why in the end we must realize the goal of destroying the military and political infrastructure of Hamas in order to have an alternative."

On the northern front, Sa'ar stated that he would not rule out a diplomatic solution on the border with Lebanon. "The diplomatic path always relies on military force. What happened now is that the force that was sitting right on the border, the Radwan force, retreated under our fire. The question is how you fix it the day after the war. They must be located beyond the border line; Resolution 1701 is a model. On the one hand, there should be a more concentrated presence in the towns in the north as well as in the bases, in order to prevent a repeat of the October 7 scenario in the north, and to achieve the removal of Hezbollah from the border. If it can be achieved through diplomatic means, that is good, but the diplomatic means is always based on the use of military force. I hope that it won't happen during a full-scale war, but I don't rule it out."

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