Arab countries have firmly stated that they will not support any postwar plan that involves sending international troops to secure Gaza. According to Jordan’s foreign minister, Ayman Safadi, such a plan would be like asking others to clean up Israel’s mess. Safadi also argued that agreeing to participate in a post-conflict peacekeeping force would essentially give the Israeli military permission to destroy Gaza.
“There will be no Arab troops going to Gaza — none,” Safadi emphasized during a regional security conference in Bahrain. “We are not going to be seen as the enemy.” These comments come as the war between Israel and Hamas continues, and discussions about postwar plans for Gaza are already underway.
While President Joe Biden outlined his vision for Gaza in an opinion piece published in The Washington Post, Arab countries have pushed back against the idea of international involvement until a cease-fire is implemented. The proposed plan included committing resources to help rebuild Gaza after the war, along with interim security measures.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel reiterated his stance that the current form of the Palestinian Authority could not rule postwar Gaza. Israel has cut off most essential supplies, including electricity, food, and water, to over two million Palestinians since the Hamas attacks on southern Israel on October 7. Israel’s military has also launched airstrikes and carried out a ground invasion in their battle for control of Gaza.
The notion of an Arab-led peacekeeping force playing a transitional role in Gaza after the conflict has been floated by some Western officials. However, Arab officials have dismissed these suggestions, maintaining that discussions about postwar plans can only take place once a cease-fire is in effect. Netanyahu has also proclaimed that Israel will maintain security control over Gaza for an indefinite period.
At a conference in Bahrain, the division between the United States and its Arab allies over the war was evident. Arab, American, and European officials sparred over the cause of the conflict and the best approach to ending it. Arab governments faced public pressure due to the war, which has reignited support for the Palestinian cause and increased anger towards not just Israel but also the United States.
During the conference, Safadi described Israel’s military campaign in Gaza as “blatant aggression” rather than self-defense. He criticized the international community for failing to hold Israel accountable to international law and sending a message that Israel can act with impunity. Brett McGurk, a top Middle East official in the White House, stated that the United States supported Israel’s defense but also emphasized that Israel must comply with international humanitarian law.
Concerns were raised about the conflict fueling extremism and radicalization across the region, drawing comparisons to the Iraq War. Anwar Gargash, a senior Emirati official, admitted to pondering whether this war was “another Iraq moment.” When asked about their countries’ policies for Gaza after the war, Gargash and the foreign minister of Bahrain, Abdullatif Al Zayani, did not provide clear answers.
As discussions continue about the future of Gaza, it is crucial to prioritize the voices and aspirations of the Palestinian people. The United States believes that planning for the day after the conflict must include the Palestinian people and place their needs at the center of post-crisis governance in Gaza. This is not just about cleaning up the aftermath but also striving for a sustainable and equitable future.
- Will Arab countries send international troops to secure Gaza?
- What has President Joe Biden proposed for Gaza?
- Who currently controls Gaza?
- What impact has the war had on the Palestinians living in Gaza?
- Is there a proposal for an Arab-led peacekeeping force in Gaza?
- What are the concerns about the conflict in Gaza?
No, Arab countries have firmly rejected the idea of sending international troops to secure Gaza.
President Biden has called on the international community to commit resources to help rebuild Gaza after the war, along with interim security measures.
Hamas, an armed group, currently runs Gaza.
Since the Hamas attacks on southern Israel, essential supplies such as electricity, food, and water have been cut off for over two million Palestinians in Gaza.
Some Western officials have suggested the idea, but Arab officials have dismissed it, stating that postwar plans can only be discussed once a cease-fire is in effect.
There are concerns about the conflict fueling extremism and radicalization across the region.