December 12, 2023 | Flash Brief

Israel, U.S. Disagree on Post-War Gaza Rule

December 12, 2023 | Flash Brief

Israel, U.S. Disagree on Post-War Gaza Rule

Latest Developments

Israel and the United States differ about post-war rule in the Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on December 12, repeating his refusal to restore the Palestinian Authority (PA) to power there. Washington has stepped up calls for the aftermath of the ongoing Hamas-Israel war to include a return to negotiations over a peaceful two-state solution. That, President Joe Biden suggested on November 18, would also entail placing both Gaza and the West Bank under “a revitalized Palestinian Authority.” U.S.-aligned Arab powers have echoed the call.

The PA has expressed reluctance to any role governing Gaza unless it is part of a comprehensive peace agreement that entails a Palestinian state in the West Bank. Israel has ruled out the PA ruling Gaza, noting the PA’s poor record on counter-terrorism in the West Bank and its ongoing “pay to slay” policy of funding the families of jailed or dead terrorists.

In a video statement, Netanyahu voiced appreciation for the Biden administration’s support for Israel’s war goals and help in withstanding other world powers’ demand for a premature ceasefire. “Yes, there is disagreement about ‘the day after Hamas’ and I hope that we will reach agreement here as well,” Netanyahu said. “After the great sacrifice of our civilians and our soldiers, I will not allow the entry into Gaza of those who educate for terrorism, support terrorism and finance terrorism. Gaza will be neither Hamastan nor Fatahstan.”

Fatah is PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s political faction.

Expert Analysis

“Even as it fights Hamas in Gaza, Israel has been pursuing high-risk counter-terrorism operations in the West Bank — the very territory where the PA is supposedly in charge. On December 12, Israeli forces interdicted yet another bomb squad in Jenin, killing five terrorists with an airstrike. While international anxiety about Gaza’s post-war prospects is understandable, the PA in its current Abbas-led configuration is not the answer. Washington would do better either to publicly lay out what a ‘revitalized’ PA means, and work to that end, or to insist that its Arab partners step up instead.” — Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“Establishing a new governing authority in post-war Gaza poses challenges, necessitating an authority that instills a sense of security for Israel and garners support from the Palestinian population. Moreover, the involvement of Abraham Accords allies is crucial in building a body that is stable and can effectively govern the Gaza Strip.” — Joe Truzman, Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Palestinian Authority Sidesteps Gaza Governance,” FDD Flash Brief

Hamas in Northern Gaza at Breaking Point, Israel Says,” FDD Flash Brief

IDF Continues Terror Target Strikes in Gaza,” FDD Flash Brief

U.S. Blocks UN Ceasefire Resolution,” FDD Flash Brief

Israel Creates Maps of Gaza Strip to Aid Civilian Evacuations,” FDD Flash Brief


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