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The Day Before and the Day After - How Israel could use the Gaza War to expand the Abraham Accords

Palestinians walk past rubble of houses destroyed in an Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip, on Oct. 24, 2023. (Photo: Atia Mohammed/Flash90)

Part 1 - The Proposal 

In the proposal below, I am setting forth an extensive proposal for a possible way forward for Israel both as it tries to achieve its goals in the Gaza War and how it could use the war and its results to use the structural, economic, and political rebuilding of Gaza as a means of expanding the Abraham Accords to include Saudi Arabia.

This initial article is the ideas in the proposal. It will be followed by a second article with some reasoning and explanation. The ideas included in the proposal are a mix of ideas which I have been considering since the start of the Gaza War, as well as ideas which I encountered in other proposals. Specifically, the impetus for writing a detailed proposal came from the policy proposal of opposition leader Yair Lapid, and more recently from the 5 positions offered by MK Danny Danon. I have also been influenced by proposals suggested by various Arab analysts and thinkers over the past two months.

The Day Before…What Israel needs to do to defeat Hamas in Gaza and ensure Gaza is demilitarized (Phase 1). 

  • Israel and its international partners must impose all available sanctions against Hamas funding, including restricting funding to questionable bodies operating in the Palestinian Territories. (Restrictions on many of these groups will persist after the end of the war.) 

  • Israel will accept temporary humanitarian pauses to allow the shifting of internally displaced persons in Gaza to other areas, the transfer of humanitarian aid, and emergency medical evacuations. 

  • Israel will have to destroy all terror infrastructure, including civilian dual-purpose infrastructure, in both the northern and southern Gaza Strip. (This will necessarily include the destruction of much of the civilian infrastructure in Gaza.)

  • As a result, Israel will need to prepare two tent cities together with Arab partners (UAE, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and Egypt), where internally displaced persons will be housed and given proper medical treatment until the cessation of the ground campaign. One will be in the northern Strip and one just across the border of the southern Gaza Strip in the Negev desert. Both will be completely weapons-free environments. 

  • Entrance into these humanitarian zones will require a security check to prevent any known Hamas or PIJ members from entering.

  • Policing of those humanitarian zones will be done by the approved Arab partners with the security coordination of Israel. Humanitarian aid will only be distributed within these humanitarian, demilitarized zones. Field hospitals will be moved to these tent cities. Until that time, the IDF will take charge of the distribution of humanitarian aid in the Gaza Strip.

  • Israel with the US, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt will establish an improved security perimeter in the Philadelphi Corridor, enlarging the border crossing, and improving the security situation through joint inspections. 

  • Israel and the Arab partners will continue to allow evacuation to Egypt for medical treatment.

  • Israel, together with the United States, will offer a larger reward for the capture of the Hamas leaders in Gaza, and offer immunity from prosecution to junior Hamas members involved in their capture. 

  • Israel will not accept a permanent ceasefire until Hamas is dismantled in Gaza. 

  • Any Hamas or PIJ leaders who voluntarily submit to exile as part of a hostage deal will be forbidden to return to Gaza or the Palestinian Territories in Judea and Samaria.

The Day After…How Israel can use the rebuilding of Gaza to bring quiet to its south, and improve relations with Arab countries (Phase 2) 

  • Gaza will be demilitarized and free of all organized terror groups. 

  • Israel will not resettle areas within the Gaza Strip. 

  • The rebuilding of Gaza, economically, politically, and educationally, will be done by Arab countries with friendly relations with Israel: UAE, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt. 

  • The rebuilding and reconstruction of Gaza will be a foundational part of the normalization agreement and economic/security cooperation between Israel and Saudi Arabia. 

  • As those ties grow, Israel and Saudi Arabia will form a regional partnership focused on the mutual Iranian threat and economic development based on the Abraham Accords. 

  • It is recommended that Israel establish a port with joint oversight by the new Gaza government and Israeli security to allow for the rebuilding and development of Gaza while prohibiting the entry of weapons or materials for producing weapons.

  • Any countries, NGOs, or multinational organizations (UN) with problematic ties to Hamas or PIJ, or with a history of antisemitic and inciting behavior towards Israel will be forbidden from participating in the rebuilding and reconstruction of Gaza.

  • NGOs employing known members of terror groups will be denied access to the Palestinian Territories and lose visa entry to Israel. (No involvement by Turkey, Qatar, IRC, Amnesty International, etc.) 

  • The government of Gaza will be structured based on the Emirati style and will initially be politically independent from the Palestinian Territories in Judea and Samaria. However, the leadership of Gaza will send representatives to a Palestinian Council, which will engage in negotiations with Israel in final status negotiations.

  • No political party, governing body, or individual that has promoted or supported terror against Israel will be allowed to participate in this government.

  • After five years, the oversight of the other Arab nations can be slowly curtailed and withdrawn, with Israeli approval. (If successful, this new Gaza government will serve as the model and basis for gradually expanding Palestinian self-rule in other territories.) 

  • UAE and Saudi Arabia will oversee the restructuring of the educational system to ensure that no antisemitic content is included, and a curriculum designed to promote peaceful coexistence is used. 

  • Israel will retain an integral role in the security of Gaza, in cooperation with a joint UAE/Saudi security body (Arab Peace/Police Force), which will actively combat any attempts to bring radical ideologies into the political, cultural, and educational arenas. (No militarization of the Gaza municipal police force will be allowed.) 

J. Micah Hancock is a current Master’s student at the Hebrew University, pursuing a degree in Jewish History. Previously, he studied Biblical studies and journalism in his B.A. in the United States. He joined All Israel News as a reporter in 2022, and currently lives near Jerusalem with his wife and children.

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