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The latest Middle East: US shoots down Houthi drones – as Israel plans to build 3,000 homes in occupied West Bank after attack | World news

The latest Middle East: US shoots down Houthi drones – as Israel plans to build 3,000 homes in occupied West Bank after attack |  World news


Now that we know what Benjamin Netanyahu's plan for post-war Gaza looks like (see post at 14:25), we can bring you some analysis of it – written by Middle East Correspondent, Alistair Bunkall.

Four and a half months after the fighting began, the Israeli prime minister has finally released a draft of his post-war vision for Gaza.

He has done so because global opinion, especially in Washington, is rapidly turning against him and he is trying to regain some control.

The short document, which was presented to the Israeli security cabinet last night and released to the media, is just over a page.

Netanyahu's plan is divided into three sections: immediate, short-term and long-term.

In the immediate term, the Israel Defense Forces will continue to fight Hamas until the group is militarily destroyed—then it's clear that Netanyahu has no intention of ending the war anytime soon.

Once achieved (if ever), this would be followed by the handover of governance in Gaza to “local officials with administrative experience” but who have had no previous ties to Hamas or other armed groups.

Netanyahu did not elaborate on who that might be, apparently fully aware that few people fitting that specific description could be found given that Gaza has been ruled by Hamas since 2006.

It is not hard to imagine a future scenario then, where the Israeli prime minister claims that despite their best efforts, they have not been able to find anyone in Gaza they can trust to take control.

UNRWA, the United Nations agency that runs services in Gaza, will be closed and a “buffer zone” created inside Gaza after October 7 will remain, according to the plan, despite US opposition.

Israel will also maintain security control over Gaza and the entire West Bank.

Finally, the restoration of Gaza would begin only after the strip had been “de-radicalized” and would be financed by countries “acceptable to Israel” – but not by Israel itself.

But if Israel wants Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates to raise money to rebuild what Israel has destroyed, then it will likely come with strong conditions, and that will almost certainly include a role for the Palestinian Authority (PA). and a path to an independent Palestinian state.

Cynics will be wary.

Netanyahu, deeply unpopular in Israel, is under increasing pressure internationally.

In recent weeks, the US and Great Britain have been clamoring for the recognition of Palestine as an independent state.

Watch – Lord Cameron: “We want Israel to stop and think”

That prospect has been dismissed by Netanyahu, who has always opposed a two-state solution.

Ironically, Netanyahu has said on multiple occasions in recent weeks that a Palestinian state cannot be unilaterally declared without Israeli approval, and yet his “day-after” document on Gaza makes no mention of consulting the PA on Gaza's future .

Netanyahu's plan is so short-sighted that it could be seen as an insult to those who have urged him to take it seriously.

It looks like an attempt to buy time – to give the impression that he is taking things seriously, but really just creates space for him to continue the fight and delay what many in Israel and around the world believe that is inevitable – his removal from office.




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