Israel has no coherent roadmap acceptable to all for Gaza’s future

New Delhi: Israel has no coherent roadmap for Gaza’s future, with the return of the Palestinian Authority, an Arab/international military presence, or an Israeli re-occupation all creating new problems of their own, said Giorgio Cafiero, CEO of Gulf State Analytics.

There has been some chatter about an Arab/international force managing post-war governance in Gaza. But Arab governments across the region have made it clear that they don’t want to touch the besieged enclave with a ten-foot pole, Cafiero wrote in The New Arab.

From their perspective, this is a crisis that Israel and its Western backers must own, and it is not the responsibility of Arab states to manage it, he said.

Moreover, any Arab military force put in charge of Gaza would be subject to grave dangers. Perceptions of Bahraini, Egyptian, Emirati, or Jordanian forces being Israel’s partners or allies against any Gaza-based resistance could put them in harm’s way.

While speaking earlier this month at the IISS Manama Dialogue security summit in Bahrain, Jordan’s foreign minister Ayman Safadi stressed that “there will be no Arab troops going to Gaza” and that the Arab states “are not going to be seen as the enemy”.

Amman’s chief diplomat emphasised that Arab governments were in agreement that this idea must be rejected. Entertaining that idea would send Israel’s government the wrong message about Arab states’ being willing to “clean up your mess”.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right government is vocal about Israel playing a direct role in the future of Gaza governance, presumably in a post-Hamas period that Tel Aviv believes it can initiate through more warfare at the enclave, the article said.

“Israel is already occupying the land, but a tactical occupation is a far cry from victory or, rather, peace, which frankly I see as a long way off at the moment. Israeli overreaction has opened Pandora’s box. It will be a long time before the situation stabilises,” explained Federica Saini Fasanotti, a Senior Associate Fellow at the Milan-based Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI) said, in an interview with The New Arab.

Ultimately, it is safe to say that the Israeli leadership has failed to devise a clear, coherent, and realistic strategy for the post-war situation in Gaza. To say the least, this will prove extremely problematic for Tel Aviv.

“The Palestinians cannot return to a destroyed territory. They don’t have the economic strength for such reconstruction. So, it’s a question of where they will be placed. But the point is another: the inhabitants of Gaza are not objects. The Israeli operation will come at a very high cost in terms of stability,” said Fasanotti.

Tragically, US and Israeli policymakers incorrectly assess Hamas as the cause of the conflict, not the conflict as the cause of Hamas. Without addressing the underlying issues that have caused Palestinians to resist Israel, there will be no peace in Gaza, nor in Israel any time soon, the article said.

“American and Israeli ruminations about the future of Gaza reflect an old colonialist mentality – that they would decide the future of the Palestinian people – ignoring the fact that this is precisely the root of the problem: occupation and denial of the right of self-determination to those living under occupation,” said Nabeel Khoury, the former deputy chief of mission at the US Embassy in Yemen, The New Arab reported.

Marco Carnelos, the former Italian ambassador to Iraq said “The dream of the current Israeli Government to accomplish a ‘Nakba in Gaza’ must be prevented. This will be the real litmus test to see if the ‘international community’ (i.e. the US and EU) care about the Palestinian question and the two-state solution. If the ‘Nakba in Gaza’ will be accomplished the US/EU credibility will be zeroed,”

Team Biden hints at the possibility of the PA led by President Mahmoud Abbas replacing Hamas in Gaza once this war is over.

Yet, this idea is extremely problematic. Only a small percentage of Palestinians in Gaza would see it as legitimate for the PA and Abbas to come into the enclave and take over from Hamas, the article said.

This decline in Fatah’s popularity has resulted from Abbas earning himself a reputation among Palestinians as a corrupt servant of the Israeli occupation who is propped up by the US and Israel.

“Mahmoud Abbas is totally ineffectual as a Palestinian leader, and [he accepts] any directive he gets from Israel and the US. He fell out of favour with Palestinian opinion a long time ago, especially in Gaza,” said Dr Nabeel Khoury, the former deputy chief of mission at the US Embassy in Yemen, in an interview with The New Arab.


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