Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's declaration this week that Israel would take control of security in Gaza for an indefinite period has added to uncertainty over the future of the besieged enclave, more than a month into the war.

Israeli officials have since tried to make clear they do not intend to reoccupy Gaza, from which Israeli forces withdrew in 2005, but there has been no clarity on how to ensure security without maintaining a military presence in the territory.

Only one thing has been stressed repeatedly — that Hamas, the Islamist movement that launched a surprise attack on Oct. 7 Israel says killed some 1,400 people, and saw militants drag more than 240 Israelis and foreigners into captivity, must be destroyed.