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Palestinian groups reportedly reject US-supported Arab peace force in Gaza

Temporary security force would help secure Gaza and guard the transport of humanitarian aid

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken poses for a photo with Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah, Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation Reem Ebrahim Al Hashimy and the Secretary-General of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) Hussein Al-Sheikh, in Cairo, Egypt, March 21, 2024. (Photo: REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)

In recent days, the United States and Israel discussed the possibility of an international peace force to help stabilize the Gaza Strip after the war. 

According to a report in Politico, the U.S. Department of Defense conducted several discussions and negotiations with partners in the region regarding "various scenarios for interim governance and security structures in Gaza” when the war ends. 

The U.S. expressed an interest in helping fund a security force in Gaza that would not include U.S. troops. The security force would not be permanent but would help secure the area during the period of rebuilding Gaza and until a stable government could be established in the coastal enclave.

The report stated that Washington held several conversations with “regional partners” about the security forces, however, no countries had confirmed a willingness to participate. 

The security force would allegedly be made up of Arab nations that have already diplomatic relations with Israel or are in the process of normalizing ties, such as Saudi Arabia. 

According to the Times of Israel, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant discussed the Gaza security forces concept with U.S. officials during his recent trip to Washington, D.C. The Times report claims that neither Saudi Arabia nor Qatar would be part of the Arab peace force. 

Such a peace force would, according to the report, cooperate with Israel in matters related to security in the Gaza Strip. The agreement would also preclude any Israeli civilian presence in Gaza. 

It is not known which countries would be willing to participate, as most Arab nations have pushed for a two-state solution for years – something the current Israeli coalition government in Israel is unwilling to pursue. 

However, the Iran-affiliated Lebanese newspaper Al-Mayadeen recently claimed that an alliance between Palestinian resistance groups has denounced the proposal for an Arab peace force. 

According to the statement, the proposal is “a Zionist trap” meant to undermine Palestinian self-determination. 

The statement also claimed that Israel and the US were “turning to certain Arab countries for help” in order “to avoid the horrible defeat they have suffered” in Gaza. 

According to a senior Israeli official, Israel has supported the plan to bring an Arab coalition into Gaza because it would “build a governing body in the area that is not Hamas and will solve Israel's problem with the US regarding the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.” 

The force would help secure the temporary pier off the Gaza coast that the U.S. is helping build and would also guard humanitarian aid convoys entering Gaza, preventing members of the Hamas terrorist organization or other armed groups from seizing the aid.

A report in Kan News this past weekend claimed that several Arab nations suggested this Arab peace force could also be deployed in the West Bank to minimize the current violence in the area and to assist with “a peace process between Israelis and Palestinians” and negotiations for a two-state solution. 

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

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