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Israeli officials disclose plan regarding Gaza Strip

Israeli officials disclose plan regarding Gaza Strip Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (photo: Getty Images)

Israel is considering the possibility of establishing an alternative local governance body for the Gaza Strip instead of the terrorist group Hamas, states Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

"We seek a governing alternative to Hamas. The framework for this includes isolating areas, removing Hamas operatives in these areas and bringing in other forces that will enable the formation of a governing alternative," he said Sunday at a briefing.

According to Gallant, this will allow Israel to achieve its goals - to remove the military and leadership of Hamas in the Gaza Strip and to bring home hostages taken during the terrorists' attack on the country on October 7.

The head of the Israeli Defense Ministry emphasized that they will not accept the rule of Hamas at any stage in any process aimed at ending the war.

Yoav Gallant is one of three members of Israel's Security Cabinet who recently called on the government to develop a detailed post-war plan for the Gaza Strip. His comments come during a period of renewed uncertainty in the eight-month war.

A representative of the Israeli Defense Ministry told AP that Gallant hopes that isolated, Hamas-free areas of Gaza will become centers of local governance and will define the forces that can ensure the formation of a government in the longer term.

"Israel is looking for local non-hostile actors. Gallant believes that Palestinians should be governing Palestinians. Israel would facilitate surges of aid to the areas, and the local forces would be responsible for distributing it to strengthen their authority," the official said.

Complex and risky plan

At the same time, one expert called such an approach complex and reminded that it has been tried in the past and failed.

"I haven’t heard of any local players that are brave enough to present themselves as an alternative to Hamas," said Michael Milshtein, an Israeli analyst of Palestinian affairs at Tel Aviv University and a former military intelligence officer.

He said that taking wishful thinking for reality by Gallant would be suicide for any local leader - terrorists threaten anyone who cooperates with the Israeli government.

"Although Hamas suffered severe damage over the past eight months, their impact on the public is still very strong," the analyst said.

Milshtein recalled that Israel has already used such an approach in the past. In the 1970s and 80s, Tel Aviv tried to create village leagues, empowering local Palestinian leaders.

"They were considered in the eyes of Palestinians as collaborators, and it ended in a very tragic manner. Unless Israel maintains a constant presence in Gaza, any alternative forces they try to install will be too fragile," the analyst said.

US peaceful plan for the Gaza Strip

As a result of the ongoing military operation since October last year, virtually the entire territory of the Gaza Strip is under the control of the Israel Defense Forces. Recently, the IDF began a limited operation in the territory of the second-largest city in the region, Rafah.

On May 31, US President Joe Biden announced that Israel had proposed a three-stage plan to end the war. In particular, the first stage, lasting 6 weeks, involves Israel ceasing hostilities and withdrawing its troops from the Gaza Strip.

The White House chief urged to agree to this plan and emphasized that Hamas no longer poses a major threat to Israel.

However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that Tel Aviv would not agree to a ceasefire until Hamas is completely destroyed.

Israeli military recently took control of a strategic corridor on the border of the Gaza Strip with Egypt.

Read more about how Israel's strike on Rafah hit a refugee camp and the implications in the article by RBC-Ukraine.