Netanyahu post-war imaginative and prescient of Gaza includes whole Israeli safety management | EUROtoday

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JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered a proposal for Israel’s indefinite army management of Gaza on Thursday, repeating hard-line stances he has made earlier than however nonetheless shocking the general public by placing all of it in writing as a concrete postwar plan.

For months, Netanyahu has positioned two subjects largely off-limits in public questioning: What accountability did he bear for safety lapses resulting in the lethal Oct. 7 Hamas assaults and who will govern the enclave when the preventing is over?

On the primary query, Netanyahu continues to deflect. But he has lastly spoken on the second with a one-page proposal offered to his safety cupboard Thursday evening and launched publicly after midnight. The define is supposed as a place to begin for additional discussions, his workplace stated.

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The debut of a plan that had been thought of off-limits to public dialogue got here as a shock to many within the authorities, in keeping with an Israeli official near the discussions. The new coverage adopted a gathering Thursday with White House envoy Brett McGurk and got here as momentum seemed to be constructing in Paris-based talks towards a potential cease-fire and hostage-release take care of Hamas.

“This was synchronized with the Americans,” stated the official, who spoke on the situation of anonymity to discuss inner discussions.

The U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem didn’t reply to a request for remark.

“Netanyahu’s number one goal is buying time,” stated Gideon Rahat, a senior fellow on the Israel Democracy Institute and chair of Hebrew University’s political science division. “He bought as much time as he could on this in the face of pressure from Joe Biden.”

The proposal outlined by Netanyahu largely mirrored what he has stated in public. Among its key factors:

Israel’s army will keep in Gaza so long as it takes to demilitarize the enclave, eradicate Hamas and hold it from regrouping.

Israel will assume larger management of Gaza’s southern border, in cooperation with Egypt “as much as possible” and can carve out border buffer zones to stop smuggling and additional assaults. Egypt has rejected any Israeli function on its border with Gaza.

The United Nations’ major assist company in Gaza and the West Bank, UNRWA, which Israel accuses of complicity with Hamas and fostering hatred of Jews, can be disbanded and changed.

The proposal rejects any everlasting settlement with “the Palestinians” that’s not achieved by way of direct negotiations with Israel, in addition to any “unilateral” Palestinian state.

The Palestinian Authority in Ramallah stated the define was a nonstarter.

“The plans proposed by Netanyahu are aimed at continuing Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories and preventing the establishment of a Palestinian state,” stated Nabil Abu Rudeina, a spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. “Israel will not succeed in its attempts to change the geographical and demographic reality in the Gaza Strip.”

Critics in Israel additionally dismissed the define as a compendium of concepts which have already been rejected by the worldwide group and Israel’s most necessary backers.

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The factors will probably be welcomed by Netanyahu’s conservative base however do little to advance strategic concerns about postwar Gaza, stated Chuck Freilich, a former deputy head of Israel’s National Security Council and a senior fellow on the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv.

“This is just a presentation of Israel’s maximalist positions,” Freilich stated. “The pressure was building on him to come up with something, so he came out with this document and slapped ‘day-after’ on the top.”

But if the targets had been according to Netanyahu’s rhetoric, political observers stated the proposal was notable for breaking the official silence on the subject. And it didn’t name for the reestablishment of Israeli settlements inside Gaza, as a few of Netanyahu’s coalition companions have demanded.

Nor, as many Israeli political observers famous, did it slam the door on Palestinian Authority officers enjoying a future function in Gaza, as Netanyahu has repeatedly accomplished prior to now.

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Instead, the define described a civil service staffed with “local entities with managerial experience” with out defining who that could be. Anyone with ties to terrorist teams or nations “supporting terrorism” — a potential reference to Qatar and Iran — can be barred.

Senior Israelis have beforehand pushed the concept of unaffiliated clan leaders taking cost of many authorities capabilities, which critics dismiss as an unworkable alliance with inexperienced locals who can be seen as Israeli proxies.

Not explicitly rejecting (and even mentioning) the Palestinian Authority, which presently governs within the West Bank, a minimum of avoids one other public break with the Biden administration, which has pushed the concept of a “revitalized” authority as one of the best place to search for steady, long-term directors in Gaza.

“It’s vague enough to enable him to control his coalition on the one hand and to give a hint to Biden and others that there might be some type of Palestinian Authority role when it doesn’t come to security issues,” Rahat stated.

But Palestinians noticed the doc’s silence as an insult.

“The Palestinian Authority is simply ignored, rendering it as if it doesn’t exist,” political analyst Mustafa Ibrahim instructed The Washington Post in a telephone interview from Rafah, the place he’s sheltering together with his household. “What Netanyahu’s plan presents is a vision solely centered around Israel and its interests, with no regard for the humanity or rights of Palestinians.”

Hazem Balousha in Amman, Jordan, and Itay Stern in Tel Aviv contributed to this report.