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White House proposes plan to govern Gaza after war - Politico

White House proposes plan to govern Gaza after war - Politico White House proposes plan to govern Gaza after war (Photo: Getty Images)

Officials from the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden have developed a multi-stage plan that envisions the eventual control of the Gaza Strip by the renewed Palestinian Authority after the war, according to Politico.

The agency notes this is an imperfect solution, but U.S. officials consider it the best of bad options.

While Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other representatives of the administration have publicly stated that the Palestinian Authority should govern the Gaza Strip, they have not disclosed details of how this would work.

However, they have already faced resistance from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has essentially excluded the future role of the Palestinian Authority in the Gaza Strip. Israeli officials mostly do not want to discuss anything other than the current war, provoked by the brutal attack of HAMAS on October 7, resulting in the death of about 1200 Israelis.

However, American strategists developing these plans continue to turn to the Palestinian Authority, which governs parts of the West Bank but has long been accused of corruption and inefficiency. According to them, this is the most realistic option.

"We are stuck," said a State Department representative. "There's a strong policy preference for the PA to play a governing role in Gaza, but it has significant legitimacy and capability challenges."

U.S. plan

The broad concept involves a multi-stage reconstruction of Gaza after the heavy fighting between Israeli forces and HAMAS militants concludes. International forces will be needed to stabilize the region immediately after this, following which the renewed Palestinian Authority will assume power in the long term.

Key parts of the plan include an increase in U.S.-related security assistance. "Ultimately, we want to have a Palestinian security structure in post-conflict Gaza," said a senior Biden administration official.

Officials emphasized that the ideas being put forward are still in their infancy and depend on many unforeseen variables. U.S. officials expect heavy fighting to continue for at least several weeks.

Obstacles to the strategy

As Politico notes, any strategy put forward by the United States will face numerous obstacles, including Israeli skepticism and Arab disappointment. However, regional players and analysts generally agree that Washington must play a decisive role in the post-war stage.

The most challenging task is determining who will play a role in stabilizing Gaza in the interim period after hostilities. Although Arab countries appear hesitant or unwilling to send troops to Gaza, some of them have been more open to this idea, according to an anonymous source. The Biden administration has ruled out sending U.S. troops. One idea discussed is to ask the United Arab Emirates to help restore medical facilities or train government officials.

According to another U.S. official, the United Nations could play a role in post-war Gaza, at least on the humanitarian front. However, the Israeli government is not a fan of the UN, considering it biased against Israelis.

Egypt is likely to play a crucial role in post-war Gaza. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's proposal for the demilitarization of the future Palestinian state with the temporary presence of international security forces has gained widespread support within the Biden administration.

"The big unknown is what exactly is going to be left of Hamas in Gaza," said a senior Biden administration official. Even if the group's numbers are small, its access to weapons could fundamentally change the calculations of countries considering sending troops.

The only thing the United States hopes to see is a more explicit condemnation of HAMAS from Arab leaders, many of whom privately condemn the Islamist militant group, which they see as a potential threat to their governments. HAMAS took control of the Gaza Strip from the Palestinian Authority over 15 years ago.

HAMAS militants invaded Israel on October 7. Terrorists began killing and kidnapping both military and civilian people. Shortly after that, Israel announced an operation in response, "Iron Swords."

Israel resumed military operations in the Gaza Strip on December 1 after a week-long ceasefire. The IDF stated that HAMAS violated the terms.