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Netanyahu presents first plan for post-war Gaza

by editor

The proposal, coming as Israel faces mounting international pressure to pause or abandon its devastating campaign, is likely to garner little support.


Israel has presented a long-awaited postwar plan to take open-ended control over security and civilian affairs in the Gaza Strip. 

Drawn up under the scrutiny of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the plan was swiftly rejected Friday by Palestinian leaders. 

It is also expected to meet with stiff resistance from the US.

Netanyahu presented the two-page document to his security Cabinet late Thursday for approval. 

While short on specifics, the plan marks the first time Netanyahu has issued a formal proposal for what will happen after the war, which has so far left nearly 30,000 Palestinians dead and displaced hundreds of thousands, many of whom are now on the brink of starvation.

Netanyahu’s plan reiterates that Israel’s primary goal is to crush Hamas, the militant group that took over Gaza in 2007 and massacred 1,200 people in southern Israel last year. 

Polls have indicated that a majority of Palestinians don’t support Hamas, but the group has deep roots in Palestinian society.

Critics, including some in Israel, say that eliminating the militant group entirely is impossible.

Netanyahu’s plan also calls for freedom of action for Israel’s military across a demilitarised Gaza after the war in order to prevent any possible security threat. 

It says Israel would establish a buffer zone inside Gaza, which is likely to provoke US objections.

The plan envisions Gaza being governed by local officials who it says would “not be identified with countries or entities that support terrorism and will not receive payment from them” – essentially proposing that Gaza’s future Palestinian administrators will be appointed at Israel’s discretion.

However, Israel has repeatedly tried and failed to set up hand-picked local Palestinian governing bodies over the last several decades. 

It is far from certain that any Palestinians would agree to such sub-contractor roles.

The Palestinian Authority, which administers pockets of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, on Friday denounced Netanyahu’s plan as “colonialist and racist,” saying it would amount to Israeli reoccupation of Gaza. 

Israel withdrew its soldiers and settlers from Gaza in 2005, but maintained control of access to the territory.

Deep disagreements over Gaza’s future have also led to increasingly public friction between Israel and the US, its closest ally.

The Biden administration wants to see a reformed Palestinian Authority govern both Gaza and the West Bank as a step toward Palestinian statehood. It has attempted to chip away at Netanyahu’s resistance by aiding the normalisation of ties between Israel and Arab powerhouse Saudi Arabia. 

Right-wing Israeli settlers, known for perpetrating acts of violence and ethnic cleansing in the West Bank, have also been sanctioned


The war drags on

Meanwhile, long-thwarted efforts to negotiate a ceasefire in Gaza appear to have made some progress.

Mediators for the parties involved are expected to present a new proposal this weekend at a high-level meeting in Paris. 

The US, Egypt and Qatar have been struggling for weeks to find a formula that could halt Israel’s devastating offensive in Gaza, but now face an unofficial deadline as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan approaches.

In Gaza, Israeli airstrikes in the centre and south of the territory killed at least 68 Palestinians, including children and women, overnight and into Friday, health officials and an Associated Press journalist said. Another 24 bodies remained trapped under the rubble.

The overall Palestinian death toll since the start of the war has now risen to more than 29,500, with close to 70,000 people wounded, Gaza health officials said.


The death toll amounts to close to 1.3% of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million.

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