President Abbas slams reported Netanyahu's 'plan for post-war Gaza' as 'destined to fail'

AFP , Friday 23 Feb 2024

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has proposed a plan for post-war Gaza that envisions local Palestinian officials without links to Hamas, Israeli media reported Friday.

File photo: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (L) that he wants to restart negotiations as soon as possible.


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

Those include dismantling Hamas and securing the release of all captives still held in Gaza.

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

Even after the war, 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.

The plan envisages Gaza's "complete demilitarisation... beyond what is required to maintain public order".

It aims to promote "de-radicalisation 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."

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 have suspended their funding to the agency.

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

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

PA slams plan

On Friday, Abbas's spokesman slammed the plan.

"Gaza will only be part of the independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital," Nabil Abu Rudeineh said, according to Palestinian official news agency Wafa.

"Any plans to the contrary are destined to fail. Israel will not succeed in attempts to alter the geographic and demographic reality in the Gaza Strip," he said.

"If the world wants security and stability in the region, it must end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and recognise the independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital," Abu Rudeineh said.

Netanyahu has long denounced the Palestinian Authority.

On Wednesday, Israel's parliament also backed another proposal opposing any unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state.

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