The Palestinian plan for ‘the day after’ in Gaza: To kill more Jews and destroy Israel

Any legitimate discussion about what the day after looks like in the Gaza Strip must address the radical and Islamist elements in Palestinian society.

By Bassam Tawil, Gatestone Institute

The Biden administration says it will soon reveal its plans for the Gaza Strip’s future in the aftermath of the Hamas-led attack on Israel on October 7, 2023, in which the terrorist organization murdered 1,200 Israeli, wounded thousands more and kidnapping more than 240 Israelis, including babies, women and the elderly.

Half of the Israeli hostages, only 50 of whom may still be alive, are still being held in the Gaza Strip by Hamas terrorists and “ordinary” Palestinians.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on June 12:

“In the coming weeks, we will put forward proposals for the key elements of a ‘day after plan’ including concrete ideas for how to manage governance, security, reconstruction.

That plan is key to turning a ceasefire into an enduring end to the conflict, but also turning an end to the war to a just and durable peace and using that peace as a foundation for building more integrated, more stable and prosperous region,”

The Palestinians, meanwhile, appear to have their own ideas about what should happen the day after the war in Gaza: they want to murder even more Jews and carry on the Jihad (holy war) to destroy Israel.

Rebuilding the Gaza Strip is not a top priority for many Palestinians.

Their primary focus lies in providing support to Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist organizations that aim to destroy the sole homeland of the Jewish people.

Hamas, buoyed by its popularity among the Palestinians, seems certain that after the war it will continue to rule the Gaza Strip.

In addition to preserving its rule over the Gaza Strip, Hamas says its plan is to “keep the flame of resistance burning in the face of Israeli, its fascist government, and the herds of settlers, in all parts of the homeland because the [resistance] will not end and will not be extinguished until the comprehensive liberation and the establishment of a fully sovereign Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.”

Hamas refers to a variety of terrorist actions as “resistance.” These include suicide bombings, stabbings, car-rammings, shootings, firing rockets, gang-rapes, and beheadings.

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This is the only form of “resistance” Hamas has known and practiced since its founding 36 years ago.

As far as Hamas is concerned, there is no difference between a Jew living in a settlement in the West Bank or in Tel Aviv. All Jews are “settlers” who need to be killed or expelled from their state.

When Hamas talks about “comprehensive liberation,” it means the elimination of Israel, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. As Hamas openly states in its charter:

“Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” (Introduction)

“Hamas believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Muslim generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered. It, or any part of it, should not be given up.

Neither a single Arab country nor all Arab countries, neither any king or president, nor all kings and presidents, neither any organization nor all of them, be they Palestinian or Arab, possess the right to do that.” (Article 11)

“There is no solution for the Palestinian question expect through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals, and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.” (Article 13)

Hamas continues to reject any peace plans or proposals for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The terrorist group is, not surprisingly, also opposed to any plan that seeks to remove it from power in the Gaza Strip.

As long as Hamas’s military capabilities are not totally eliminated, neither the Palestinian Authority nor the Arab countries will take over administration of the Gaza Strip.

The only plan Hamas (and many Palestinians) believes in is one that calls on all Muslims to undertake Jihad against Israel.

For this reason, the Biden administration is misguided in thinking that Hamas, which enjoys broad support among the Palestinians, would approve of any plan for the “day after” in the Gaza Strip that does not view terrorism as the only means of eradicating Israel and ethnically cleansing the Jewish people.

A recent poll conducted by the Palestinian Center For Policy and Survey Research (PSR) showed that 56% of the Palestinians are convinced that Hamas will continue to rule the Gaza Strip after the war.

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Only 11% believe that a new Palestinian Authority with an elected president, parliament and government will be in control.

When asked who the public would prefer to control the Gaza Strip after the war, 61% said it was Hamas, 16% chose a new Palestinian Authority with an elected president, parliament and government, 6% chose the current PA without its current leader, Mahmoud Abbas, now in the 19th year of his four-year term.

For the third time since the October 7 atrocities committed by Hamas and thousands of “ordinary” Palestinians, the PSR poll asked the Palestinians what they thought of Hamas’s decision to launch the attack on Israel.

Two thirds, compared to 71% in March 2024 and 72% in December 2023, say it was “correct.”

The poll also found that satisfaction with Hamas’s performance has increased to 75%.

Any strategy the Biden administration proposes for the day after the war in the Gaza Strip is bound to fail, as evidenced by the huge support for Hamas and the crimes it committed against Israelis on October 7.

Any legitimate discussion about what the day after looks like in the Gaza Strip must address the radical and Islamist elements in Palestinian society.

Emboldened by the Biden administration’s growing pressure on Israel to end the war, Hamas leaders are convinced that they are on their way to achieving victory.

“The possibility of defeating Israel is very real, possible and available, and the possibility of liberating Palestine is very great,” senior Hamas official Bassam Naim told the Qatari-owned Al-Jazeera network when asked about the day after the war in the Gaza Strip.

“This may have costs, but this is the nature of things. Any other option will certainly be rejected, especially if it is accompanied by any non-Palestinian security presence. The Palestinians will consider it a new form of occupation, regardless of the identity of these forces.”

Asked if the Palestinian Authority would be allowed to return to the Gaza Strip, the Hamas official responded:

“The Palestinian Authority, under the current circumstances, is unable to manage the Palestinian people in the West Bank, and therefore it is too weak to play this role in the Gaza Strip.”

Mohammed al-Hindi, a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) official, was also asked about his organization’s vision for the future of the Gaza Strip. PIJ, he said, will not abandon the armed struggle against Israel and will never accept the Biden administration’s plan for establishing a Palestinian state next to Israel.

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“The outcome of this conflict will decide the fate of the entire region, including Palestine and Israel,” al-Hindi argued.

“No one should be tempted to fall into the deception of a one- or two-state solution. In the wake of the strategic defeat of the [Israeli] enemy, there is talk again about the two-state solution.

The American administration affirms at every opportunity that a Palestinian state cannot be established except through direct negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel.

Some Palestinians and Arabs are ready to engage in the context of this deception to circumvent the consequences of the Al-Aqsa Flood [the name Hamas uses to call its October 7 atrocities].”

Finally, if one wants evidence of what the day after the war will look like, one needs to listen to what Ghazi Hamad, another prominent figure in Hamas, said shortly after October 7.

Celebrating the murder of Israelis, Hamad swore that, given the chance, Hamas would carry out similar crimes repeatedly until Israel is exterminated.

“Israel is a country that has no place on our land,” Hamad said in an interview with Lebanese TV channel LBC, and translated and published by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

“We must remove that country, because it constitutes a security, military, and political catastrophe to the Arab and Islamic nation, and must be finished. We are not ashamed to say this, with full force.

We must teach Israel a lesson, and we will do this again and again. The Al-Aqsa Flood is just the first time, and there will be a second, a third, a fourth, because we have the determination, the resolve, and the capabilities to fight.

Will we have to pay a price? Yes, and we are ready to pay it. We are called a nation of martyrs, and we are proud to sacrifice martyrs.”