Abu Dhabi, UAE – As the Israeli military tightens its control over northern Gaza in its ongoing conflict with Hamas, the absence of a clear post-war strategy raises concerns about the future of the territory.
Despite nearly six weeks of fighting, Israel has yet to present a comprehensive plan for Gaza after the conflict subsides. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced last week that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) had effectively divided the Strip and claimed Hamas had lost control of northern Gaza, including Gaza City.
One significant development was the Israeli military’s raid on Al-Shifa, Gaza’s largest hospital, alleging that Hamas had established a command center beneath the medical complex. Hamas counteracted these claims, accusing Israel of spreading false information.
However, experts question Israel’s long-term plan for Gaza once it achieves its goal of eliminating Hamas. Frank Lowenstein, who served as Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations under President Barack Obama during the 2014 Israel-Gaza war, suggests that although Israel has outlined security objectives, it has yet to provide a viable strategy for the aftermath.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been vague about his plan for Gaza post-military operation. Netanyahu’s primary goals are to destroy Hamas and rescue over 200 hostages kidnapped by the group on October 7. However, beyond these objectives, Netanyahu has not offered a defined strategy for a territory that now sees more than two-thirds of its population internally displaced and over 40% of housing units destroyed or damaged.
Daniel Levy, president of the US-Middle East Project, highlights Israel’s lack of a clear plan for the future. He speculates that Palestinians may be hesitant to cooperate with Israel after such devastating loss of life. The United States has urged against Israel reoccupying Gaza and proposes a future role for the Palestinian Authority (PA). However, reintegrating the PA into Gaza post-war remains uncertain due to its troubled history and the fractious relationship between the two entities.
In an interview with CNN, Netanyahu mentioned the possibility of a civilian Palestinian government governing Gaza but only if it aligns with Israel’s security objectives. However, he did not provide specifics on what those objectives entail.
As the conflict continues, the question of Israel’s strategy for Gaza remains unanswered. Without a clear vision for the future, many uncertainties and challenges lie ahead for the territory and its population.
Q: Has Israel outlined a post-war plan for Gaza?
A: Despite ongoing conflict, Israel has not presented a comprehensive strategy for Gaza.
Q: What are Israel’s primary goals in the conflict?
A: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu aims to eliminate Hamas and rescue kidnapped hostages.
Q: What challenges does Israel face in Gaza’s future governance?
A: The reintroduction of the Palestinian Authority into Gaza after years of absence raises questions about feasibility and cooperation.