Netanyahu’s Postwar Gaza Plan Clashes With Calls From U.S. and Others

By John Mercury February 24, 2024

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s framework released Friday for a postwar order in Gaza appeared to keep his government on a collision course with the United States and much of the rest of the world over the enclave’s future.

Here are some of the major points of friction between what the Israeli leader has proposed and what other governments have said they want after the war in Gaza is over:

The Biden administration and Arab states have called for both Gaza and the occupied West Bank to become part of a future Palestinian state alongside Israel, arguing that decades of Israeli-Palestinian conflict can only be resolved with an eventual two-state solution.

But Mr. Netanyahu’s plans appear to rule out a sovereign Palestinian state in the near term, saying that Israel would indefinitely maintain military control across “all of the territory west of the Jordan” river, including the enclave. It does not explicitly rule out a Palestinian state, but its wording would make an independent territory including Gaza and the Israeli-occupied West Bank all but impossible for the foreseeable future.

Mr. Netanyahu’s framework calls for sealing off Gaza’s border with Egypt — the territory’s only crossing not controlled by Israel — in order to prevent what it described as cross-border smuggling. It would be done in coordination with Egypt and with the backing of the United States, his proposal said.

But it was not clear whether the Biden administration would support such a move. And it would likely ratchet up tensions with Egypt: The government in Cairo has called Israeli threats to send troops into a so-called buffer zone separating Gaza from the Egyptian-controlled Sinai Desert “a serious threat to Egyptian-Israeli relations.”


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