Photo Credit: IDF
Israel Defense Forces activity in the Gaza Strip, April 18, 2024.

The Israeli government is set to discuss a proposal under which the military would administer the Gaza Strip for six months to a year following the war, the Kan News broadcaster reported on Saturday.

The plan under consideration calls for civilian rule through the IDF Civil Administration and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, with local Arab companies providing services.

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According to the Kan report, Israel is considering a gradual transfer of control to local bodies not considered hostile to the Jewish state.

The proposal was recently discussed in the National Security Council, and security and political officials are reportedly holding discussions with relevant parties before presenting the plan to the Cabinet.

Kan News noted that Israel has held talks with Palestinian Authority intelligence chief Majid Faraj to discuss “day after” scenarios.

In March, local media reported that Israel was considering appointing Faraj—a leading member of the Fatah’s Revolutionary Council and a close confidant of P.A. chief Mahmoud Abbas—as Gaza’s new governor.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during an interview that aired on Thursday that Israel is seeking to establish a rule “by Gazans who are not committed to our destruction, possibly with the aid of the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and other countries that I think want to see stability and peace.”

Doha on Saturday denounced the remarks, claiming that Jerusalem “lacks legitimate authority to implement this step, or take any similar measures.”

UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said in a statement that his country “refuses to be involved in any plan aimed at providing cover for the Israeli presence in the Gaza Strip.”

Al Nahyan, who is also the UAE’s foreign minister, stressed that “when a Palestinian government is formed which meets the hopes and aspirations of the brotherly Palestinian people, and is distinguished by integrity, competence and independence, the UAE will be fully prepared to provide all forms of support to that government.”

Meanwhile, an official close to the Saudi palace told Israel’s Channel 12 News on Sunday that Riyadh will likewise refuse to help rule Gaza.

“We are with the UAE on this. We demand an end to the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank and to find a permanent political solution for the Palestinian people to end this prolonged conflict,” the source stated.

Netanyahu first formally presented his “day after” plan in February, reiterating Israel’s goal of completely eradicating Hamas and emphasizing the need for ongoing Israeli security control west of the Jordan River, including in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip.

Netanyahu’s plan envisioned the IDF maintaining operational freedom in the coastal enclave indefinitely, as well as the establishment of a buffer zone along the border to protect southern Israeli communities.

The proposal conditioned Gaza’s reconstruction on its demilitarization and de-radicalization, which would take place “with the involvement and assistance of Arab countries that have experience” in this regard.

The Biden administration wants the Palestinian Authority to take over Gaza after the war, a move that Israel rejects because of Ramallah’s support for terrorism.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has insisted that an “effective and revitalized Palestinian Authority” should ultimately govern the Strip.

On Jan. 27, Abbas’s spokesman told Al Arabiya television that the P.A. is prepared to hand over the reins to Hamas after the conflict. Ramallah is “prepared to hold general elections, and if Hamas wins, the president will hand over the Authority,” said Nabil Abu Rudeineh.

According to PA Arab polls, 89% of Palestinian Authority Arabs support establishing a government that includes or is led by Hamas. Only around 8.5% said they favor an authority controlled exclusively by Abbas’s Fatah faction.

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