PA drafting plans for takeover of Gaza after Hamas war

The plan includes thousands of PA security personnel to help distribute aid and hundreds to guard the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Strip.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

An Israeli research center specializing in the study of terrorism published Monday its review of the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) plans for reestablishing control over the Gaza Strip once the Israel-Hamas war ends.

Following an examination of open-source material such as Arab media that cite Palestinian sources, the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center said that a leading candidate for managing post-war security in Gaza is Majed Faraj, the current head of Palestinian general intelligence.

Faraj “is considered a close affiliate of [PA President] Mahmoud Abbas and one of the most powerful people in the PA,” said the center.

The plan includes having 5,000 to 7,000 security personnel, either active or retired, help distribute humanitarian aid and food throughout the coastal enclave.

In addition, 500 members of Abbas’ presidential guard would be sent to secure the operation of the Rafah Crossing between Egypt and Gaza.

The Rafah Crossing is currently a major funnel for humanitarian aid, with all trucks passing through being at least minimally inspected by the IDF to ensure that no weaponry is hidden within for Hamas.

The IDF has sought to control the whole border area, including the Philadelphi Corridor that runs beyond Rafah, in order to stop all the smuggling routes into Gaza. Thus far, however, Egypt has rejected Israeli control over the border area.

It is considered of vital importance to prevent Hamas or any other terrorist organizations within the Strip from rearming as they have done after every skirmish with Israel in recent years, so that another invasion and massacre like that of October 7 can never happen again.

The PA, “which has always viewed the Gaza Strip as an integral part of a future Palestinian state,” explained the center, “regards itself as the Hamas administration’s natural successor” as most of the world sees the PA as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinians.

As such, its top officials have stated that they would not agree to any foreign presence there on the “day after,” even from other Arab countries.

For its part, Hamas has so far resisted all attempts by its bitter rivals to even enter its stronghold.

According to Arab media reports, Hamas officials arrested on Monday “at least” ten PA intelligence agency operatives who allegedly entered the Gaza Strip via Rafah to supervise aid convoys, while Hamas claimed their purpose was to sow “chaos” at Israel’s behest.

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The PA denied the Hamas claims outright.

The Meir Amit Center also pointed to the PA attempts to make itself more palatable to the international community, and especially the United States, so that it could take over in Gaza in the immediate term and be recognized as an independent state in the longer term.

In answer to the U.S.-led request for “reform” and “revitalization,” Abbas had the PA government resign and appointed in early March Dr. Mohammad Mustafa, then-chairman of the Palestine Investment Fund, as prime minister to head a “technocratic” government.