Defense

Netanyahu unveils plans for post-war Gaza

AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali, File

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has unveiled his plan for the post-war rule of Gaza, offering for the first time a more detailed look at how the coastal territory will be governed, though his proposal stands to thwart efforts at creating a Palestinian state.

The plan outlines a scenario in which Israel will retain indefinite security control across a demilitarized Gaza, according to The Associated Press.

Indefinite Israeli security control will run counter to any push to establish a fully independent Palestinian state, which the U.S. has backed and which many supporters see as the only way to create a lasting peace in the region.

Another part of the plan includes calls for a buffer zone in Gaza, creating a neutral area in parts of Gaza connected to Israel, the AP reported. The document also calls for a local organization to govern Gaza that is not part of any terrorist group, ruling out Palestinian militant group Hamas, which Israel is waging a war against across the strip.

It may also rule out the Palestinian Authority. Netanyahu has specifically spoken against the Palestinian Authority ruling Gaza, accusing them of fomenting terrorism and radicalization against Israel from the West Bank.

The proposal is likely to meet resistance from the Palestinians, the U.S. and Arab nations, all of which have called for a full Palestinian state that includes the West Bank and Gaza.

Netanyahu’s refusal to endorse a Palestinian state has angered the Biden administration, which has pushed repeatedly for that plan along with a governing authority such as a revitalized Palestinian Authority, which governs the West Bank.

Any post-war Gaza plan would only come after the fighting ends, which remains unclear as the war carries on.

Israel has fought across nearly the entire territory and is planning an invasion of Rafah at the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on March 10.

Rafah is the southernmost city on the border with Egypt where more than a million civilians are sheltering. While Israel is drafting a plan to evacuate civilians, the looming invasion there has sparked concerns of a permanent displacement of Palestinians over the border, along with a large loss of life and imperiled humanitarian aid.

The war has already taken more than 29,000 lives, but Israel says it must crush Hamas everywhere in Gaza, accusing the group of using Rafah to hide battalions.

While Israel says it is inching closer to victory, officials have also said fighting could last all year, likely against pockets of resistance.

Tags Benjamin Netanyahu Gaza Israel Palesitnian state post-war Gaza Rafah

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