Israel has outlined its first official “day after” plan for the Gaza Strip, calling for the removal of Hamas, no “unilateral recognition” of a Palestinian state and the closure of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel will maintain security control over all Palestinian areas and make the reconstruction of Gaza dependent on its demilitarization.
The Palestinian Authority’s Foreign Ministry issued a harsh condemnation, saying the plans represent “a plan to prolong the genocide against our people” and show that Israel is trying to buy more time to implement displacement plans.
The document proposes that Israel would maintain security control over all lands west of Jordan, including the occupied West Bank and Gaza, territories where Palestinians hope to establish an independent state.
Netanyahu presented the plan yesterday to the security cabinet, which could still demand amendments.
In the long-term goals listed, Netanayhu rejects “unilateral recognition” of a Palestinian state. He says a deal with the Palestinians will only be achieved through direct negotiations between the two sides, without naming who would be the Palestinian side.
Under the plan, Israel would maintain security control over all lands west of Jordan, including the occupied West Bank and Gaza, territories where Palestinians hope to establish an independent state.
People are checking out the destruction caused by the overnight Israeli bombardment in Deir Balah in the central Gaza Strip on Friday.
Search and rescue efforts continue to reach injured and dead Palestinians at the scene after Israeli forces attacked and destroyed a building belonging to a Palestinian family in Az-Zawayda, Deir al-Balah, Gaza, on Friday.
In Gaza, Netanyahu describes demilitarization and deradicalization as objectives to be achieved in the medium term. He does not elaborate on when that intermediate stage would begin or how long it would last.
But it conditions the rehabilitation of the Gaza Strip, much of which has been devastated by Israel’s offensive, on its complete demilitarization.
Netanyahu proposes that Israel have a presence on the border between Gaza and Egypt, in the south of the enclave, and cooperate with Egypt and the United States in that area to prevent smuggling attempts, including at the Rafah crossing.
To replace the Hamas government in Gaza while maintaining public order, Netanyahu suggests working with local representatives “who are not affiliated with terrorist countries or groups and do not receive financial support from them.”
Calls for closing UNRWA and replacing it with other international aid groups.
“The prime minister’s document of principles reflects broad public consensus on the objectives of the war and to replace the Hamas government in Gaza with a civilian alternative,” said a statement from the prime minister’s office.
The document was distributed to members of the security cabinet to start a discussion on the issue.
The Palestinian Authority’s statement in response to the plans maintains that Israel is using a blatant move to threaten US and international attempts to link the end of the war and the release of hostages and prisoners to the resolution of the broader Israeli-Palestinian conflict. .
Additionally, the Palestinian Authority called on the United States and other Western countries to take decisive action, including recognizing Palestine as an independent state, assisting with its membership in the UN, and establishing an international peace conference.
He says these points are vital to ending the occupation and allowing the Palestinian people to use their right to self-determination in a free and dignified manner.
– This photograph taken from Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip shows smoke rising during the Israeli bombardment of Khan Yunis on Thursday.
A Palestinian woman injured in an Israeli attack mourns the death of her brother in the attack, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, at the Abu Yousef Al-Najjar hospital in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip. Gaza, on Thursday.
The war was sparked by a Hamas-led attack on southern Israel on October 7 in which 1,200 people were killed and 253 taken hostage, according to Israeli counts.
Israel, which has vowed to destroy Hamas, responded with an air and ground attack on blockaded Gaza that has killed more than 29,400 people, according to Palestinian health authorities.
The offensive has displaced most of the territory’s population and caused widespread hunger and disease.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, said Netanyahu’s proposal was doomed to fail, as was any Israeli plan to change the geographic and demographic realities in Gaza.
“If the world is truly interested in having security and stability in the region, it must end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and recognize an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital,” he said.
The war in Gaza has revived international calls – including from Israel’s main backer, the United States – for a so-called two-state solution as the ultimate goal to resolve the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Little progress has been made towards achieving a Palestinian state since the signing of the Oslo Accords in the early 1990s. Among the obstacles preventing this is the expansion of Israeli settlements in the territories Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war.
Most countries consider the settlements, which in many areas separate Palestinian communities from each other, as a violation of international law.
Israel claims a biblical birthright over the land and yesterday said it would approve more than 3,000 new housing units in the settlements.