How does Israel plan to deal with Gaza the day after?

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Israel’s defense minister Yoav Gallant announced Thursday that he will be sharing his “day after plan” for the Gaza Strip following the conclusion of Israel’s military campaign against Hamas, which has controlled the area since 2007.

This outline was included in a document called “vision for phase three” that was submitted on Monday to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s war cabinet. According to this document, after the war Israel would retain the right to carry out military activities within the Strip after the war, while the civil administration of the Strip would pass to unnamed “Palestinian players”.

In order to gain a better understanding of this plan, here are some things you need to know.

Is there a plan for the ‘day after’?

It was revealed by Gallant that by the end of hostilities in the Gaza Strip both Hamas and Israel would be unable to govern, but this plan does come with certain caveats, he said.

Unless the hostages taken by Hamas from southern Israel in October 7 are returned by the Israeli army, the Israeli war in the territory is going to continue until the Israeli army is able to secure their return. As Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported, Hamas’s military and governing capabilities had been dismantled, and any remaining military threats were removed.

Following the completion of all of these steps, it will be possible for a new phase to begin, which will see Hamas no longer in control of Gaza and not posing a security threat to Israeli citizens, with other Palestinian bodies assuming the responsibility of managing the territory.

It would be Israel’s prerogative to operate within the territories, so its forces would be able to come and go as they please – similar to what is already the case in the occupied West Bank under the current arrangements. In spite of this, Israel would not maintain a constant civilian presence in the enclave after the war’s objectives have been achieved, and there would also be no Israeli settlements or encampments in the area.

Gallant also stated that Israel would continue to exercise intense supervision over Gaza’s border for the foreseeable future. Depending on the outcome of the war, this could require the maintaining of a land, air, and sea blockade on the Gaza Strip, as well as inspecting everything that comes into and leaves Gaza post-war, Al Jazeera correspondent Hamdah Salhut reported.

According to Gallant, the Palestinian authorities in charge of Gaza would not specify which ones would be in charge, simply stating: “Gaza residents are Palestinians, thus Palestinian bodies will have oversight, under the condition that there will be no hostile actions or threats against the State of Israel” (Colonial Times).

According to Gallant’s plan, the entity controlling the territory will use the existing administrative structure (civil committees) in Gaza as a base for its implementation.

As part of his speech, he got into details about how a coalition of international actors would be responsible for the reconstruction and rebuilding of Gaza after the war, including states from the Middle East, Europe and other allies from the West.

What are the differences between the plan and what Netanyahu has said?

There have also been statements by Netanyahu that a “civilian government” would rule Gaza after the war has ended, but he is opposed to the idea that the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority, which partially controls the West Bank, can be placed in charge of the Gaza Strip once the war has come to an end.

In his remarks, he added that in order for post-war plans to be implemented, the Israeli military must first “eliminate Hamas” from the area.

Earlier this year, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that Israel would take responsibility for Gaza’s security indefinitely, though he did not specify how this would be done. In addition, he added that this was a necessary step in order to prevent the “eruption” of another “Hamas terror attack”.

Does any other senior Israeli official have anything to say about this?

Itamar Ben-Gvir, the far-right Minister of National Security, echoed similar comments made by right-wing Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich on Monday, calling for Israeli settlers to return to the territory after the war and for a “solution to encourage the emigration of Gaza’s Palestinian population” as part of a solution to encourage emigration of Palestinians.

The Israeli Army Radio interview on Sunday stated that Smotrich believes that removing approximately 90 percent of Gaza’s population would make the region more secure post-war since Gaza is a hotbed of hatred, and two million people are destined to destroy the State of Israel if they are not able to leave the enclave.

There is no doubt that if there are 100,000 or 200,000 Arabs in Gaza instead of two million it will change everything about what is going to happen the next day,” he added.

How does the PA describe the situation?

As Mohammad Shtayyeh, head of the Palestinian Authority, told the Financial Times in an interview, any future agreement will have to incorporate “a political solution for all of Palestine, not just Gaza”, so that it would be a lasting peace for the Palestinian people.

There is a strong desire among Israeli politicians to separate the Gaza Strip from the West Bank politically, Shtayyeh added.

It does not seem likely that Israel will leave Gaza anytime soon,” he said. I think that Israel has decided to create its own civil administration that will generally function under the control of the Israeli occupying army. As a result, it is unclear how things will unfold the next day.”

How do the Americans view this issue?

According to Washington, the Palestinian Authority, which is based in the occupied West Bank, should be able to govern Gaza with two states, and that the Gaza Strip should be governed by a “revitalized” Palestinian Authority.

It has been pointed out by Al Jazeera correspondent Mike Hanna that Gallant’s plan is “completely at odds with what the Americans envision as their ‘day after’ concept“, which is what the Americans believe will happen.

As a result, the Americans are relying on the fact that the Palestinian Authority would have control over Gaza and would take over its administration,” he explained.

A visit by United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Israel is expected to take place on Thursday, where the US Secretary of State will discuss Gaza’s post-war future.

That news provided by timenews.

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