Israel and the United States are on a collision course over the future of Gaza

Israel and the United States are on a collision course over the future of Gaza

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently said that Israeli soldiers will remain in the Gaza Strip indefinitely.

Meanwhile, Israeli officials have spoken of creating a “buffer zone” to keep Palestinians away from the Israeli border. They rule out that the Palestinian authorities in the occupied West Bank will play any role in the region, as there is still no possibility of the success of the Israeli war.

It seems that the American vision for the region is completely different. US government officials say they will not allow Israel to reoccupy Gaza. Nor will they allow Israel to reoccupy parts of the region until what is envisioned as a future Palestinian state is once again diminished.

Read the latest news about the conflict between Hamas and Israel

We want Abbas to Gaza

Instead, American officials expressed their desire for the autonomous authority in the occupied West Bank to regain authority in Gaza, and for negotiations to resume on a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine.

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It has now been more than 16 years since Hamas won the Palestinian elections and ousted Fatah and the autonomous authority from Gaza.

Since then, support for the autonomous authority and President Mahmoud Abbas has continued to decline, and after two months of war, it is free to fall.

However, the United States confirms that the best solution is to hand over power in the Gaza Strip to Abbas and his men.

Abbas himself says that he does not envision a return to Gaza unless it is part of a broader plan to establish a Palestinian state with the 1967 borders as its starting point.

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Hamas may play a role

Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh even allowed Hamas to become part of the new Palestinian government. He confirmed in an interview with Bloomberg that there are ongoing talks with the United States about the Palestinians seizing power in Gaza.

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– If they are ready to enter into an agreement and accept the political program of the PLO, there will be room for talks. Shtayyeh says: The Palestinians should not be divided.

The goal is to build an independent state consisting of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, according to the Prime Minister, who himself belongs to the Fatah movement, the largest and most important wing of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

But Netanyahu has little left for these plans. He believes that Abbas cannot be trusted, and he rejects the idea of ​​deploying an international peacekeeping force in Gaza. He claims that only the Israeli army can secure a “demilitarized” Gaza.

Olney Israel Plans

As for Israel’s plans for the Gaza Strip, it is ambiguous.

– After the destruction of Hamas, Gaza must be demilitarized and demilitarized so that there is no threat to Israel from Gaza. The buffer zone becomes part of the disarmament process. This is the plan, says Ofir Falk, one of Netanyahu’s advisors.

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Israel’s Western coalition partners and neighboring countries were not informed of the buffer zone plan until the beginning of December. But a detailed plan should not have been put on the table.

– They only say that it will be a temporary buffer zone, says an unnamed Egyptian source.

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Among the countries that were briefed on the plan were Egypt, Qatar, Jordan, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

In the past, an Israeli document was also leaked containing plans to displace Gazans to the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, a plan from which Egypt has strongly distanced itself.

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Demand a truce first

The authorities in the Arab countries have so far refused to talk about the future of Gaza as long as the fighting continues. Among them is Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, who recently stated that “the Arab countries will not come to clean up the mess after Israel.”

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The Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad, went so far as to accuse Israel of committing genocide and crimes against humanity, while the country is deeply involved in mediation between Hamas and Israel.

From the American side, statements were also issued indicating that the United States has become increasingly suspicious of the signals coming from Israel. Vice President Kamala Harris recently stated that a new Israeli occupation of Gaza is completely out of the question.

– Five principles guide our approach to Gaza after the war – no forced displacement, no reoccupation, no blockade or siege, no reduction of territory, no use of Gaza as a platform for terrorism, Harris said in a speech in Dubai on October 1. Weekend in December.

She added: – We want to see the unification of Gaza and the West Bank under the authority of Palestinian self-government, and Palestinian voices and longings must form the core of this work.

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– Agreement to crush Hamas

In Israel, too, there is some frustration with Netanyahu. According to commentator Amos Harel in Haaretz, Israeli defense officials believe that Netanyahu is most interested in keeping his strong right-wing government together, and that this is what motivates the war.

However, Israel and the United States have always agreed on one important goal: crushing Hamas, the Associated Press news agency writes.

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– It is important for them that Israel achieves its military goals, because it is the beginning of any change that could happen the next day, says Israeli intelligence chief Eldad Shavit.

He believes that the United States will only try to pressure Israel when it comes to protecting civilian lives and emergency aid, and not regarding future plans for Gaza.

At the same time, the State Department spokesman in Washington spoke of a “transitional period” after the war, without saying anything about how long this period would last.

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Election year in the United States of America

But Biden also has considerations to make in his home country. Because while the death toll continues to rise in the Gaza Strip, it is entering an election year in which the Democratic Party risks being deeply divided as a result of the war.

A large portion of his voters want an end to the Israeli war, and the division is likely to worsen as long as it is not entirely clear what will happen next and as long as Palestinian suffering continues.

Middle East expert Daniel Levy believes that the US response to the large numbers of civilian casualties in southern Gaza has been “tepid”, indicating that the Americans are unlikely to intervene in the Israeli war.

He was previously one of the Israeli negotiators in the peace negotiations with the Palestinians, but today he heads the Foreign Policy Institute US/Middle East Project.

– Israel has a feeling that the race they are in is not endless, but they still feel that they have a lot to go on, says Daniel Levy.

Jabori Obasanjo

Jabori Obasanjo

"Coffee trailblazer. Certified pop culture lover. Infuriatingly humble gamer."

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