Israel’s defense minister outlines post-war plan for Gaza

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has outlined a plan for Gaza’s post-war future, saying neither Hamas nor Israel will control the Palestinian territory after the ongoing conflict ends.

Galland’s proposal, submitted to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s war cabinet yesterday (January 4), said there would be “no Israeli civilian presence in the Gaza Strip after the objectives of the war have been achieved.”

Among those goals are safe passage for the hostages taken by Hamas on October 7, 2023, and the dismantling of the group’s “military and governmental capabilities.”

The plan said, however, that Israel would reserve the right to operate inside Gaza and that the invasion would continue “as long as necessary.”

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Gallant also described how the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) will limit its combative approach to northern Gaza while maintaining the intensity of strikes in the south.

Yoav Gallant, former IDF general, becomes defense minister in 2022.
Yoav Gallant is a former IDF general, and will become defense minister in 2022. Credit: Alexi Rosenfeld (via Getty).

Netanyahu is fighting an internal battle

As US Secretary of State Antony Blinken flies to Israel and the wider Middle East region, Netanyahu will be hoping to mend Israel’s united front.

Far-right members of his cabinet have called for a full Palestinian withdrawal from Gaza, arguing that Gallant’s proposal is lenient.

On Monday (January 1st), National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said Israeli settlers should return to Gaza after the war, calling for a “solution to encourage immigration” of its Palestinian population.

over 90% of Gaza’s population has already been displaced.

Danny Danon, a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party, said Israel should “make it easier for Gazans to leave to other countries,” pointing to nations in Latin America and Africa that are reportedly “willing to absorb refugees from Gaza Strip”.

The Israel-UN war of words is escalating

Such plans have been rejected as “extremist” and “unworkable” by other countries in the region, as well as some of Israel’s allies, including the US.

The United Nations has also criticized Israeli resettlement plans.

Volker Turk, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, described statements made by senior Israeli officials about the forcible relocation of Gazans to third countries as “very disturbing”.

More UN workers have been killed in Israel’s ongoing offensive in Gaza than in any other conflict – topping 136 deaths.

Israel has announced it will no longer allow automatic visas for UN workers, accusing the group of being “complicit partners” with Hamas amid repeated calls from UN officials for a ceasefire.

Turk’s criticism comes days after South Africa filed a genocide case against Israel at the International Court of Justice.

Although the case will likely take years to conclude, it marks an unprecedented step by the international community to call out Israel’s indiscriminate attacks on Palestinian territories.

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