Netanyahu Has a Plan for Gaza After the War

Proposal may not align with US goals, but Israel says it's a start
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2024 5:25 PM CST
Netanyahu Releases Proposal for Governing Gaza After Hamas
Israeli female soldiers pose for a photo on a position on the Gaza Strip border, in southern Israel, on Monday.   (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

Israel's prime minister has drawn up a proposal for governing Gaza after the war ends, a plan that would demilitarize the territory, shut its southern border with Egypt, and give his country ongoing security control. Benjamin Netanyahu presented his proposal to members of his security cabinet on Thursday night, CNN reports. His vision for a postwar Gaza, USA Today reports, differs from that of US officials. Netanyahu has been criticized for not having such a plan, and his office said this one is intended as a starting point for negotiations.

The proposal also calls for a remaking of the civil administration and education systems in Gaza that would include ending Qatar's funding—which a previous Netanyahu government approved. The operators of the civil service post-Hamas "will not be identified with countries or entities that support terrorism and will not receive payment from them," the document says. Shutting the border would shift control over who enters and leaves Gaza from Egypt to Israel. Egypt didn't immediately issue a comment on the plan; nor did the US.

A New York Times analysis says the proposal seems to have been left intentionally vague in places to avoid stirring opposition among the Israeli government's domestic or international allies. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has come out against a buffer zone, for instance, but keeping control of ones at Gaza's borders with Egypt and Israel would satisfy Israeli public opinion. Although the US officials favor the Palestinian Authority governing Gaza when the Israel-Hamas war ends, the proposal doesn't even mention the PA, per the BBC. (More Israel-Hamas war stories.)

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