Does Israel's Netanyahu Have a Plan for the "day After" the War on Gaza? - Latest Global News

Does Israel’s Netanyahu Have a Plan for the “day After” the War on Gaza?

That doesn’t seem to be the case.

On Thursday, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant expressed frustration and called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “make a decision.” He added that he did not believe that Israel’s involvement in Gaza should be indefinite.

Why do we need “an Israeli plan”?

Israel controls every aspect of Palestinian life both in the Gaza Strip and in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which it occupies.

With each passing day, less and less Gaza remains, raising ever more pressing questions about how long the Israeli military can continue its brutal attacks. What does it plan to do when it tires of repeatedly bombarding the tiny, besieged enclave?

On Saturday, Army Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi criticized Netanyahu for a lack of political planning for a post-war solution.

“As long as there is no diplomatic process to form a governing body in the Gaza Strip, this is not the case [the Palestinian group] Hamas, we have to keep launching campaigns… to dismantle Hamas’ infrastructure.

“It will be a Sisyphean task,” he said, referring to the mythological tyrant Sisyphus, the ruler of Ephyra, who was punished by the gods to spend an eternity pushing a stone up a hill, only to have it to roll back down.

So… does Netanyahu have a plan?

On May 3, Netanyahu published online some post-war plans for Gaza that were quite dramatic.

Under the plans, Palestinians in Gaza – more than 35,000 of whom Israel has killed so far in this war – would enjoy unprecedented prosperity.

A huge investment was outlined: free ports, solar energy, the production of electric cars and the people benefiting from the newly discovered gas fields in the Gaza Strip.

This would happen in three phases, from an unspecified “victory date” to 2035.

The Palestinians in Gaza would implement the plan, overseen by a coalition of Arab states – Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan and Morocco are named in the plan and in radio interviews with Netanyahu.

Politically, having “de-radicalized” and “forgotten” the trauma of war, Gaza would join the occupied West Bank, currently nominally under the administration of the Palestinian Authority, and recognize Israel through the Abraham Accords.

Israel would retain the right to respond to anything it considers a “security threat” from Gaza.

Once the program is successful, the Prime Minister’s Office said it could be rolled out “across Syria, Yemen and Lebanon.”

Did anyone like it?

UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan criticized Netanyahu on X on Sunday, making it clear that Netanyahu had not consulted Abu Dhabi on his plans.

Translation: The United Arab Emirates condemns statements by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling on the state [UAE] to participate in the civil administration of the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip. The United Arab Emirates stresses that the Israeli prime minister does not have the legal capacity to take this step and the state refuses to be included in a plan aimed at covering the Israeli presence in the Gaza Strip. The UAE reiterates that when a Palestinian government is established that corresponds to the hopes and aspirations of the brotherly Palestinian people and enjoys integrity, competence and independence, the State will be fully ready to provide all forms of support to this government.

Other countries have not yet commented. However, news reports say Egypt, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates are considering U.S. proposals to send some sort of peacekeeping force to Gaza after Washington recognizes a Palestinian state.

Domestically, neither Gallant nor his War Cabinet colleague Benny Gantz have been impressed by Netanyahu’s plan or his statements that discussion of a “day after” can only begin after “a complete defeat of Hamas.”

Their statements reflect the frustration of Israel’s political leadership and could indicate some division.

Is Netanyahu’s plan even realistic?

On May 2, the United Nations estimated that the reconstruction of Gaza would be the largest postwar reconstruction effort since the end of World War II in 1945.

According to the UN Development Program, around 70 percent of all homes have been destroyed and, apart from the trauma suffered by the enclave’s population, reconstruction would require at least $40 billion to $50 billion.

No costs have been found for Netanyahu’s plans, making an assessment difficult.

Not as much.

Netanyahu leads a fractious coalition cabinet plagued by infighting and divisions, and not everyone is happy with their prime minister.

Some members are pushing for negotiations to ensure the safety of the remaining prisoners in Gaza, while others are calling for the occupation and destruction of the southern city of Rafah – the last city attacked by land so far – before anything else, even the city’s continuation the government.

Is there any other idea then?

On Tuesday, Netanyahu’s national security minister, far-right provocateur Itamar Ben-Gvir, attended a rally of ultra-nationalist groups in Sderot, near Gaza.

“To end the problem [of Gaza]To prevent the problem from recurring, we must do two things: First, return to Gaza now! Return home! Return to our holy land!

“And secondly: Encourage… the voluntary departure of the residents of the Gaza Strip… That is ethically justifiable! It’s rational! That’s right! It’s the truth! It is the Torah and it is the only way! And yes, it is human,” he said.

Ben-Gvir speaks at a conference calling for the establishment of Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip on January 28, 2024 [Abir Sultan/EPA-EFE]

According to organizers, around 50,000 Israeli settlers and ultra-nationalists had gathered to listen to Ben-Gvir and various hardliners, including some from Netanyahu’s Likud party, speak of a “voluntary migration” of Gaza’s population to be controlled by Israelis could be settled.

In January, Ben-Gvir, along with Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and several members of the Likud party, took part in the far-right “Settlement Brings Security and Victory” conference, which also included calls for the reconstruction of illegal Israeli settlements in Gaza established after 2005 were withdrawn and the “voluntary migration” of its population.

What now?

Whatever “plan” Israel puts forward for a “day after tomorrow” scenario, none can be discussed or considered unless its government also makes clear what it sees as a “victory” that would make it possible to end the killing to stop.

Until then, there is a danger that the war and the suffering of the Palestinians will continue indefinitely.

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