Israel, US mull expulsion of Hamas members after Gaza war ends

Ahram Online , Thursday 30 Nov 2023

Israel and the US are mulling the potential expulsion of numerous lower-ranking members of the Palestinian group Hamas after the end of the ongoing war, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.

Hamas
Palestinians look on in Deir el-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip as contrails from an Israeli aircraft line the sky on November 30, 2023 on the seventh day of a truce between Israel and Hamas AFP

 

The goal is to eliminate Hamas from the Gaza Strip, drawing parallels to the past deportation of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) members, including leader Yasser Arafat, from Lebanon to Tunisia.

According to the WSJ, there is no detailed plan for executing this expulsion. The report suggests that the idea may face challenges, with an analyst deeming it "unrealistic." Additionally, it has acknowledged that Hamas members would likely resist such expulsion.

The report, citing unnamed senior Israeli and US officials, mentions an alternative proposal put forward by the Israeli army – the creation of a "Gaza Restoration Authority." This entity would be supported by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, tasked with rebuilding Gaza without the presence of Hamas.

However, significant obstacles to this plan include disagreements between Israel and the US on whether the Palestinian Authority (PA) would be involved in the solution, as Israel insists that the PA cannot have a governing role in the Gaza Strip.

Moreover, the endorsement of this solution by Riyadh and Abu Dhabi is deemed necessary for its success.

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