Netanyahu’s post-war proposal for Gaza rankles US officials

Netanyahu’s plan sees post-war Gaza ruled by ‘local stakeholders with managerial experience’ who are ‘not affiliated with countries or entities that support terrorism.’

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

The plan released on Friday by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for post-war governance in Gaza received a cool reaction from US officials.

US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said, “The Palestinian people should have a voice and a vote… through a revitalized Palestinian Authority.”

He added that the US has been “consistently clear” about how they envision Gaza after the war.

Kirby explained that the US doesn’t “believe in a reduction of the size of Gaza… we don’t want to see any forcible displacement of Palestinians outside Gaza and, of course, we don’t want to see Gaza dominated or ruled or governed over by Hamas.”

US President Joe Biden has on several occasions insisted that “a revitalized Palestinian Authority” should run Gaza, although Netanyahu has rejected this solution citing the refusal of the PA to condemn the October 7th massacre by Hamas.

Netanyahu’s plan sees post-war Gaza ruled by “local stakeholders with managerial experience” who are “not affiliated with countries or entities that support terrorism.”

It also included provisions to end the smuggling of weapons with the cooperation of Egypt through Rafah and shutting down UNRWA, many of whose members have proven ties to Hamas and have participated in terrorism.

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The plan calls for a demilitarized and “deradicalized” Gaza and that Israel should have security control in the Gaza Strip.

When asked about Netanyahu’s plan, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was on a trip to Argentina, said he would “reserve judgment” until he examined the plan, but affirmed he was against a “reoccupation” of Gaza after the war.

“Gaza… cannot be a platform for terrorism. There should be no Israeli reoccupation of Gaza. The size of Gaza territory should not be reduced.” Blinken said.

Netanyahu’s plan would give Israel “indefinite freedom” to prevent the resurgence of terrorist groups within Gaza and to create a buffer zone on the Palestinian side of the border to prevent a repeat of the October 7th invasion of Israel.

However, the Biden Administration said it would oppose any plan that would reduce the size of Gaza available to the Palestinian population.