Netanyahu Unveils Gaza Reconstruction Plan Amid Ceasefire Talks

World | February 23, 2024, Friday // 11:01|  views

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has outlined a vision for the future of the Gaza Strip following the conflict with Hamas, marking the first time he has presented such a plan, according to Haaretz.

This announcement comes as an Israeli delegation prepares to attend talks in Paris aimed at securing a deal for the release of Gaza hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners and a potential six-week ceasefire, as indicated by the US.

With hopes of reaching an agreement before the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on March 10, Israel seeks to delay further hostilities in the southern city of Rafah, where numerous Palestinians have been displaced since the recent conflict.

Defense Minister Yoav Gal–Ľant had previously outlined a similar proposal, but Netanyahu had refrained from addressing the issue extensively until now, likely to avoid further strain within his coalition, which includes far-right parties advocating for permanent Israeli control over Gaza.

Netanyahu's plan emphasizes several key points:

  1. Demilitarization of Gaza, initially overseen by Israel.
  2. Continued military action against terrorism.
  3. Maintenance of a buffer zone along the border.
  4. Involvement of local administrators with no ties to terrorist organizations.
  5. Collaboration with Egypt to prevent smuggling and terrorism.
  6. Arab countries' assistance in de-radicalization and reconstruction efforts.

While the document serves as a basis for future discussions, it does not mention the Palestinian Authority, reflecting the Israeli government's stance on Gaza's governance post-conflict.

However, the plan faces challenges, including potential opposition from Arab countries regarding the establishment of a Palestinian state and international concerns about territorial reductions in Gaza. Additionally, some members of Netanyahu's cabinet advocate for the return of Jewish settlements in Gaza, despite potential repercussions.

The proposed buffer zone and Israeli control over certain border areas may encounter resistance, both domestically and internationally. Nevertheless, informal discussions suggest some flexibility on these issues, albeit with opposition from certain quarters.

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Tags: Netanyahu, Gaza, reconstruction, ceasefire

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