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Israel Presents a Blueprint for the Aftermath of Hamas: Contents and Omissions

Finally, the moment arrived. On Friday, Netanyahu unveiled the framework for the 'day after Hamas'. This blueprint is yet to be formalized, lacking the cabinet's endorsement, and it remains ambiguous whether it has been communicated to the IDF as an official directive. The absence of formal recognition could be attributed to Netanyahu's intent to gauge the international community's reaction, particularly from the USA, or it might stem from various domestic political complexities within Israel.


Zoom In

Key aspects of the blueprint include:

  • Unrestricted Israeli security governance over the territory

  • Local leaders will be administer and govern Gaza (from the text it is understood that they would be unaffiliated)

  • Oversight of religious, educational, and social welfare bodies

  • Plans to dissolve UNRWA

  • Rejection of international efforts for the unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state

Insights

A building fall in gaza ai
  • The unveiling of a post-Hamas blueprint is a significant development, aiming to equip Israel to navigate international pressures. The strategy is not a fully-fledged 'right-wing’ plan, as it presents the Israeli control over Gaza as a temporary responsibility rather than a permanent claim, thereby implicitly eliminating the prospect of Israeli civilian resettlement in Gaza.

  • This strategy is built upon three principal stances identified earlier by Atchalta as crucial (see here): rejection to a full-fledged independent Palestinian state, the assertion of Israeli security dominion over Gaza, and the delegation of civil governance to a Palestinian entity. Additionally, it addresses several critical issues previously highlighted, such as the association of the post-Hamas phase with the disbandment of UNRWA and the regulation of Palestinian educational content.

  • A pivotal component of the blueprint is the emphasis on entrusting local leadership with civil governance, advocating for "civil administration and responsibility for public order in the Gaza Strip to be based on local entities with administrative expertise."

Challenges

Netanyahu's plan encounters three primary challenges:

  • The strategy may fall short of the prerequisites for fostering comprehensive normalization with Saudi Arabia or establishing a regional coalition against Iran. While the Saudis seem to provide only lip service to the Palestinian cause, such dreaming may not be enough for the Suadis to pursue with this dramatic move..

  • It remains uncertain whether this approach will suffice to deter uncoordinated-with-Israel international initiatives nor the growing momentum towards unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state. 

  • The reliance on promoting local leadership presents a significant challenge. Israel's historical attempts to nurture local leaders, whether in the 1980s with Palestinian leadership in Judea and Samaria or in the security zone in Southern Lebanon, have not been fruitful. Such leadership lacks intrinsic legitimacy.

In Summary

Netanyahu's proposal offers several benefits for Israel, yet its unofficial status and close association with the Prime Minister indicate a potential absence of political consensus. While the blueprint might alleviate external pressures, its capacity to avert unilateral Palestinian state recognition remains in question, and its strategy to meet Saudi conditions for normalization and a regional alliance against Iran is fraught with uncertainty, especially given the complexities involved in establishing legitimate local governance in Gaza.


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