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Netanyahu reportedly wants local officials to rule Gaza instead of Hamas or PA

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads a government conference at Hakirya base in Tel Aviv on January 7, 2024. (Photo: Yariv Katz/POOL)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly wants “local officials” with no connections to terror groups to manage the Gaza Strip’s daily affairs the “day after” the Hamas war. The premier’s vision of a post-war Gaza was presented as a one-page document to the Security Cabinet and reportedly focuses on identifying unaffiliated Gazan officials with “administrative experience” and who do not have ties to “countries or entities that support terrorism.”

While the U.S. Biden administration has supported Israel’s war against the Hamas terror organization, Washington has also pressured Jerusalem to start planning for a political arrangement in Gaza once the war ends.

Netanyahu has indicated he is not interested in Israel resuming responsibility for the Gaza Strip’s approximately two million residents. While much of the world realizes that Hamas can no longer remain in power, Netanyahu also rejects the international proposal that the Palestinian Authority (PA) government in Ramallah, led by the Fatah party President Mahmoud Abbas, will take over Gaza in a post-Hamas era.

“Gaza will be neither Hamastan nor Fatahstan,” Netanyahu vowed in December.

“After the great sacrifice of our civilians and our soldiers, I will not allow the entry into Gaza of those who educate or terrorism, support terrorism, and finance terrorism,” the prime minister added in a reference to the PA's incitement against Israel and financial rewards to anyone who murders Jews, based on a 'pay-to-slay' policy.

Much of the global community’s current focus is on Rafah, the southernmost Gazan town near the Egyptian borer. According to Israel Defense Forces, Rafah is the last remaining major Hamas stronghold in the coastal enclave. Israel has vowed to dismantle Hamas’ remaining terror forces, however, the war goal is complicated by the presence of over one million Gazan civilians. In addition, Hamas leaders are allegedly using the remaining Israeli hostages as human shields in Rafah.

Due to its strategic location near the Egyptian border, Rafah also serves as an "oxygen" pipeline for Hamas, which conducts massive smuggling of military and civilian goods through border tunnels below Rafah. Israeli military experts have, therefore, concluded that capturing Rafah is essential for the effort to dismantle Hamas as both a political and military force.

The new Israeli “Day After” document addresses this challenge by stating that “southern closure will be made up of measures aimed at preventing smuggling from Egypt — both underground and above ground, including at the Rafah crossing.”

The PA rejected Netanyahu’s post-war proposition for Gaza as “a plan to prolong the genocide against our people and an attempt to gain more time to implement the displacement plans,” repeating the false genocide charges against Israel.

Ramallah added that Netanyahu's Gaza plan is “a blatant maneuver to intercept and thwart American and international efforts made to link stopping the war and releasing prisoners and hostages to resolving the conflict and embodying the Palestinian state on the ground.”

The Biden administration, the European Union, the United Nations and Arab states have pushed for the implementation of a two-state solution after the war.

However, Netanyahu recently informed U.S. President Joe Biden that Israel opposes the unilateral establishment of a Palestinian Arab state.

“Israel outright rejects international dictates regarding a permanent settlement with the Palestinians. Such an arrangement will be reached only through direct negotiations between the parties, without preconditions,” Netanyahu stated.

“Israel will continue to oppose the unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state. Such recognition in the wake of the October 7 massacre would give a huge reward to unprecedented terrorism and prevent any future peace settlement, the prime minister added.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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