What is Israel’s latest ‘day after’ plan for Gaza?

On Thursday, Israel’s defence minister Yoav Gallant shared his “day after plan” for the Gaza Strip after Israel completes its military operation against Hamas, which has ruled the territory since 2007.

The outline is part of a “vision for phase three” document submitted to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s war cabinet on Monday. It states that civil administration of the enclave would pass to unnamed “Palestinian players”, while Israel would retain the ability to carry out military activities within the Strip after the war.

What is the ‘day after’ plan?

Under this latest plan, neither Hamas nor Israel would govern the Gaza Strip once hostilities there conclude, but this comes with certain caveats, Gallant revealed.

The plan states that Israel’s war in the territory will continue until it has secured the return of the hostages taken by Hamas in southern Israel on October 7, dismantled Hamas’s “military and governing capabilities” and removed any remaining military threats, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.

Once all of that has been achieved, a new phase will begin in which “Hamas will not control Gaza and will not pose a security threat to the citizens of Israel”, with other Palestinian bodies assuming the territory’s governance.

Israel would reserve the right to operate inside the territory, which means its forces would be able to come and go as they pleased – similar to current arrangements in the occupied West Bank. However, Israel would not keep a constant civilian presence in the enclave after the aims of the war have been met, nor would there be any Israeli settlements.

Gallant also said that Israel would continue its intense supervision of Gaza’s border. This could involve maintaining a blockade on the Strip via land, air and sea, as well as carrying out inspections of everything that comes in and out of Gaza post-war, Al Jazeera correspondent Hamdah Salhut reported.

How does the plan compare with what Netanyahu has said?

Netanyahu has also said that a “civilian government” should rule Gaza after the war is over, but is opposed to the idea of the Palestinian Authority, the Fatah-led government which partly controls the West Bank, being placed in charge of the Gaza Strip.

He also said that the Israeli military first needs to “eliminate Hamas” before post-war plans can come into effect.

In November, Netanyahu stated that Israel would take responsibility for Gaza’s security for an “indefinite period” without specifying how this would happen. He added that this would be necessary to prevent the “eruption” of another “Hamas terror”.

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