Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin NetanyahuMarc Israel Sellem/POOL

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded this evening to Defense Minister Yoav Gallant's call for him to declare that Israel will not exercise governing control of the Gaza Strip following the ongoing war with the Hamas terrorist organization.

"I am not ready to replace Hamastan with Fatahstan. The first condition for the day after is to eliminate Hamas and do it without excuses," Netanyahu said.

The Prime Minister's statement comes in response to an address by Gallant in which the Defense Minister declared, "I must reiterate - I will not agree to the establishment of Israeli military rule in Gaza. Israel must not establish civilian rule in Gaza."

"I call on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to make a decision and declare that Israel will not establish civilian control over the Gaza Strip, that Israel will not establish military governance in the Gaza Strip, and that a governing alternative to Hamas in the Gaza Strip will be raised immediately," Gallant said.

Gallant's address was condemned by Justice Minister Yariv Levin, who said, "The people of Israel are not willing to be humiliated. The people of Israel are not ready to be led into the Oslo 2 process, which will lead Israel to another disaster. The people of Israel will not agree to hand over Gaza to the control of the Palestinian Terrorist Authority."

"The people of Israel know that Israel's security will only be achieved by determination to win, and not by relying on promises of peace from the vile terrorists and their various organizations," said Minister Levin.

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich also condemned Gallant's remarks, accusing the Defense Minister of announcing "his support for the establishment of a Palestinian terrorist state as a reward for terrorism and Hamas."