February 23, 2024 | Flash Brief

Israel Prime Minister Presents Plan for Post-War Gaza

February 23, 2024 | Flash Brief

Israel Prime Minister Presents Plan for Post-War Gaza

Latest Developments

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented the security cabinet with a plan for post-war policy in Gaza on February 22. The plan stipulates that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) will have security control of Gaza after the war and that a local government of Palestinian technocrats will rule the strip. The plan states that the Israeli military “will continue the war until its goals are achieved: the destruction of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad’s military capabilities and governmental infrastructure, the return of the hostages, and the prevention of any threats emanating from the Gaza Strip.” Under the plan, Gaza will be demilitarized and “local officials” who are unaffiliated with terrorist groups will administer civil affairs.

Expert Analysis

“It is essential that Hamas be defeated in Gaza and that it no longer has the capabilities to threaten Israel and destabilize the region. A plan for the day after the war is an important step in laying out guidelines for a post-Hamas Gaza. Hamas has exploited Gazan civilians and used them as human shields while stockpiling weapons and building tunnels in civilian areas.” — Seth J. Frantzman, FDD Adjunct Fellow

“Israel has learned from past experiences in Gaza and the West Bank that it needs Palestinian leadership interested in coexisting alongside a Jewish state. However, any post-war plan for Gaza may be difficult to implement. Remnants of Hamas and other terrorist organizations will attempt to thwart efforts to rebuild Gaza under new Palestinian leadership.” — Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Replacing UNRWA With ‘Responsible International Aid Organizations’

The plan for the day after the war in Gaza will replace the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) with “responsible international aid organizations.” The plan says that “Israel will work to shut down United Nations Relief and Works Agency, whose operatives were involved in the October 7 massacre, and whose schools taught terrorism and the destruction of Israel.” On February 16, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant revealed the identities of 12 UNRWA employees who took part in the October 7 attack. Gallant said UNRWA has “lost legitimacy and can no longer function as a UN body.” Additionally, Gallant asserted that the Israeli government believes that 12 percent of UNRWA’s 13,000 employees are affiliated with Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

‘Humanitarian Pockets’ to Provide Test Case for New Plan

To prepare for a post-war Gaza, Israel is considering the possibility of “humanitarian pockets” in the strip, which would entail the distribution of humanitarian aid by local merchants and civil society leaders unaffiliated with Hamas. “We’re looking for the right people to step up to the plate,” an Israeli official told Reuters. The Zeitun neighborhood south of Gaza City, where the IDF operated recently, may be a site to test the new pilot program. Establishing humanitarian pockets would enable local governance unaffiliated with Hamas for the first time since the terrorist group took over Gaza in 2007.

Israel Arrests Eight UNRWA Employees Over Ties to Hamas,” FDD Flash Brief

Evacuated Israelis May Return to Homes Near Gaza,” FDD Flash Brief “Israeli Knesset Agrees: No Unilateral Palestinian Statehood,” FDD Flash Brief


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