Netanyahu proposes concerning plan for Gaza's future as death toll reaches alarming heights

Jerusalem, Israel - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has proposed a plan for Gaza's future that envisions local Palestinian officials without links to Hamas or its foreign backers governing the territory, Israeli media reported Friday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has proposed a plan for Gaza's future that would enable further attacks on the territory as well as the dismantling of UNRWA.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has proposed a plan for Gaza's future that would enable further attacks on the territory as well as the dismantling of UNRWA.  © REUTERS

The proposal, which Netanyahu submitted to his security cabinet late Thursday, would also see the Israeli army persisting in its assault on Gaza until it achieves its stated goals.

Those include dismantling Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and securing the release of all Israeli hostages still held captive in Gaza.

After the assault ends, Gaza's civil affairs would be run by "local officials with administrative experience" and who are "not linked to countries or entities that support terrorism," the Times of Israel newspaper reported, quoting key elements of Netanyahu's plan.

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Even after the onslaught ends, the Israeli army would have "indefinite freedom" to operate throughout Gaza to prevent any resurgence of terror activity, according to the plan.

"The plan states that Israel will move forward with its already-in-motion project to establish a security buffer zone on the Palestinian side of the strip's border," the report said, adding the zone would remain "as long as there is a security need for it."

It also envisages Israeli security control "over the entire area west of Jordan" from the land, sea, and air "to prevent the strengthening of terrorist elements in the (occupied West Bank) and the Gaza Strip and to thwart threats from them towards Israel," the report said.

Netanyahu calls for dismantling of UN agency for Palestinian refugees

A picture taken from Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip shows smoke billowing during Israeli bombardment of Khan Younis.
A picture taken from Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip shows smoke billowing during Israeli bombardment of Khan Younis.  © SAID KHATIB / AFP

Netanyahu's plan envisages Gaza's "complete demilitarization... beyond what is required for the needs of maintaining public order." It aims to promote "de-radicalization in all religious, educational and welfare institutions in Gaza."

A key element of the plan was the dismantling of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, the report said.

Israel has alleged that several employees of UNRWA took part in the October 7 attack on Israel that resulted in the deaths of about 1,160 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli figures. The attack took place amid decades of Israeli occupation and apartheid.

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The United Nations sacked the employees accused by Israel and has begun an internal probe of the agency. Since the Israeli allegations emerged, several countries – including the United States – have suspended their funding to the agency, despite an apparent lack of corroborating evidence behind the claims.

The plan also has elements concerning the Egypt-Gaza border, which has been plagued by smuggling, the newspaper said. It said a "southern closure" on the frontier would be enforced with the stated aim of preventing a revival of any terror or smuggling activity.

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President Joe Biden has been accused of complicity in Israel's genocidal campaign in Gaza.
President Joe Biden has been accused of complicity in Israel's genocidal campaign in Gaza.  © REUTERS

Some elements of the reported Netanyahu plan conflict with Washington's vision for Gaza.

The United States has backed Netanyahu's call to eradicate Hamas, which controls Gaza, but has called for the Palestinian Authority, led by Mahmoud Abbas in the occupied West Bank, gradually to take over control in Gaza.

Netanyahu has long denounced the Palestinian Authority, and on Wednesday, Israel's parliament also backed another proposal opposing any unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state.

Both the US and Israel are facing widespread condemnation for their actions in Gaza.

Since October, Israel's brutal attacks and blockade of food, water, medical supplies, and other basic needs have led to the deaths of at least 29,514 Palestinians and forced displacement of nearly 2 million more.

As a result, Israel has been charged by South Africa with violating the 1948 Genocide Convention. The International Court of Justice last month issued provisional measures against Israel as the case continues to play out.

The Biden administration has been accused of complicity for providing Israel with diplomatic cover and billions of dollars' worth of weapons and munitions, which are being used to kill Palestinians in Gaza en masse.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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