In an exclusive interview with ABC News, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu provided insight into Israel’s intentions regarding the Gaza Strip following the ongoing conflict with Hamas.
Security Responsibility for an Indefinite Period
Netanyahu revealed that Israel plans to assume “overall security responsibility” in Gaza, even after the current conflict with Hamas comes to an end.
A First Glimpse into Israel’s Strategy
This marks the first occasion on which Israel’s leader has publicly addressed a potential long-term vision for Gaza, parts of which have been significantly affected by Israeli airstrikes.
Rising Humanitarian Concerns
The conflict has led to a high number of casualties, with more than 10,300 people killed in Israeli bombings in Gaza over the past month, including a tragic toll on children. International observers, including United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, have raised alarms about the deteriorating humanitarian situation.
A Vision for Gaza’s Future
Netanyahu’s vision for Gaza involves governance by entities opposed to the tactics employed by Hamas, which took control of the region in 2007.
The Historical Context: Netanyahu
Gaza, alongside the West Bank and East Jerusalem, was captured by Israel during the 1967 Middle East war. Since Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza, it has retained control over vital aspects, such as airspace, coastline, and border crossings.
A Complex Road Ahead
While Netanyahu’s comments hint at a potential plan, it remains uncertain what the “overall security responsibility” will entail. Some experts suggest a model akin to the arrangement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank’s Area B, where Israel handles security matters.
A Need for Willing Partners
However, the success of any such plan would necessitate cooperation, and experts argue that no third party is likely to assume responsibility for Gaza, leaving Israel with the complex task of governing its 2.3 million Palestinian inhabitants.
Uncertainty in Israel’s Vision
Nimrod Novik, a former advisor to Israel’s national security council, expressed skepticism about the motives behind Netanyahu’s comments. He suggested that political considerations might be a driving force in these statements.
An Evolving Situation: Netanyahu
Israel’s plans for Gaza’s future continue to evolve, with varying perspectives on the potential role of the Palestinian Authority and other approaches. The situation remains complex and subject to further developments.