Some Israeli and American officials are contemplating the idea of expelling thousands of lower-level Hamas terrorists from the Gaza Strip in the hope of cutting the war shorter, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.
Following the siege of Beirut in 1982, Yasser Arafat the city left for Greece, and then moved on to Tunisia, where he established a new headquarters for the PLO. Some PLO terrorists continued to operate out of Yemen, Algeria, Iraq, and the Sudan, as well as in Israel’s Liberated Territories. In late 1983, 4,000 Arafat loyalists were evacuated from Tripoli, Lebanon, on five Greek vessels.
The WSJ was able to review an IDF plan for “Hamas-free safe zones” that would be ruled by a new government in Gaza, with support from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Still, Israel and the US disagree on the role of the Palestinian Authority in governing Gaza, once Hamas is out of the picture. And there is no road map for what should happen to thousands of Hamas fighters and their families. The Biden administration has been pushing relentlessly for implementing the two-state solution, essentially letting the corrupt terrorists in Ramallah benefit from the blood and treasure Israel has spent on defeating Hamas.
Before October 7, Israel estimated that Hamas had about 30,000 fighters in Gaza, which all of Israel’s leaders, political and military, vowed to kill, possibly via public trials that would result in hangings. So far, thousands of terrorists have been killed.
The proposition of letting low-level Hamas terrorists and the Gazans who aided in the October 7 massacre leave hinges on garnering support from nations who are open to hosting Hamas, whose leadership has sought refuge in various locations, including Turkey, Qatar, Iran, Russia, and Lebanon. The plan must navigate the intricacies of allowing the fighters and their families to depart. Additionally, it necessitates establishing a level of trust where Hamas relies on Israel to uphold any commitments made in the agreement, such as refraining from targeting the terrorists once they exit Gaza.
Whether there will or will not be a mass deportation of Hamas rank-and-file terrorists, one thing is clear: Israel has no intention of letting the Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar, and military commander Mohammed Deif walk away alive.