20231107 netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Image Credit: Reuters

Washington: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that his country will take "overall responsibility" of Gaza's security for an indefinite period after its war with Hamas ends.

"Israel will, for an indefinite period, will have the overall security responsibility," he said in a television interview with ABC News broadcast on Monday.

"When we don't have that security responsibility, what we have is the eruption of Hamas terror on a scale that we couldn't imagine," he added.

The Israeli military has relentlessly attacked Gaza by air, land and sea since October 7, when Hamas militants launched a cross-border attack that left 1,400 dead in Israel, most of them civilians, according to Israeli authorities, and over 240 hostages taken.

The death toll in Gaza has surpassed 10,000 people, the Hamas-run health ministry said Monday, including more than 4,000 children.

In Monday's interview, Netanyahu disputed the health ministry's figures, which he said likely included "several thousand" Palestinian combatants.

Despite growing calls for a ceasefire from UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and other world leaders, Netanyahu said he did not support one.

"There will be no ceasefire - general ceasefire - in Gaza without the release of our hostages," he said.

"As far as tactical, little pauses - an hour here, an hour there - we've had them before," he said.

Israel may agree to pauses to let humanitarian goods into Gaza, or to allow for hostages to leave the besieged Palestinian territory, he added.

Asked if he should take any responsibility for the October 7 attack, Netanyahu said "of course".

"It's not a question and it's got to be resolved after the war," he said, adding that his government had "clearly" not met its obligation to protect its people.