Israeli Defence Minister Outlines Idea for Reconstruction of Gaza After War
By: Frederica Allen
All wars must end at some point, and no country can endure the burden of war indefinitely. This prompts the question of what peace should entail, a matter occupying the thoughts of Benjamin Netanyahu's government. Israel's Minister of Defence, Yoav Gallant, has proposed a plan summarised in four key points: Israel will coordinate and oversee a civilian government, inspecting all goods passing into Gaza;
A multinational task force, led by the US with European and moderate Arab partners, will manage civil affairs and oversee the economic recovery of the Strip.
Egypt will take responsibility for the main border crossing into Gaza, in coordination with Israel.
Existing Palestinian administrative mechanisms will continue, provided individuals are not associated with Hamas. Local authorities handling civil duties such as sewage, electricity, and water will collaborate with the multinational task force.
Photo by: Chad J. McNeeley
Essentially, Israel will control security and foreign relations in Gaza, Egypt will be responsible for the border into Gaza, a US-led coalition of partners will oversee reconstruction, and existing civilian institutions will continue provided they sever connections to Hamas.
On paper, this appears to be a reasonable plan, especially considering the political nature of Netanyahu's government. However, there are obstacles. Israel's current government is one of the most right-wing in the nation's history, with some members expressing views on the complete destruction of Hamas and support for Israeli settlement of the region.
Another challenge is the coalition of allies responsible for reconstruction, which insists on the involvement of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Gaza's civilian administration and a two-state policy. Netanyahu's government faces internal divisions on this matter, with some seeking the dissolution of the PA, while others aim for its reform as an Israel-friendly ally.
The reference to "moderate" Arab nations is vague, as Israel perceives much of the Arab world as extreme. Gallant may be referring to nations like Egypt and Jordan, willing to cooperate with Israel under fair treatment of Arabs. However, this excludes states like Iran, an ally of Hamas, and Saudi Arabia, which strongly opposes Israel.
In conclusion, the plan encounters internal and external obstacles, making it an unlikely policy for Israel to pursue, with peace remaining a distant goal.