Thu 23 Nov 2023 6:19 am - Jerusalem Time

An obscure American recipe for Gaza

With this Arab and regional rejection, the United States began to retreat little by little from its various proposals to try to find a way out for Israel from the Gaza impasse, as Blinken presented, during his presence in Tokyo to attend the G7 summit, what is described as the five no’s, which are “no to the forced displacement of Palestinians from Gaza, No to using Gaza as a platform for terrorism, no to reoccupying Gaza after the end of the conflict, no to blockading Gaza, and no to reducing the territory of Gaza.”

However, it does not seem that the occupying state has complied with these American warnings. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced his rejection of the idea of the Palestinian Authority returning to rule the Gaza Strip, as he declared that he would not accept the return of a regime that teaches its children to kill and hate Jews, and funds terrorists, and did not condemn “atrocities” On October 7th.

On the other hand, he stressed his insistence on maintaining security control over the Gaza Strip, which includes “the ability for the Israeli army to enter the Strip whenever it wants to eliminate terrorists who might arise in the Strip,” and at the same time he opposed the idea of handing over the Strip to international forces.

Netanyahu reaffirmed his position regarding the Palestinian Authority and the occupation of Gaza in the conference he held with Ministers Benny Gantz and Yoav Galant on November 18, concluding it by saying: “I will not agree to any party entering Gaza that pays money to terrorism and saboteurs and their families and raises children to kill Jews” and eliminating the State of Israel, and without such a change in the character of the civil administration that will exist in Gaza, it is only a matter of time until Gaza returns to terrorism, and I will not accept that.”

Here he refers to the Palestinian Authority, which the settlers spread propaganda about as the other side of Hamas. Regarding the Israel's continued control over Gaza, Netanyahu adds: “There is another condition that I set for the next day, that the IDF will enjoy complete freedom of action in the Gaza Strip in the face of every threat. Only in this way will we ensure the disarmament of Gaza.”

Although there is American opposition to these “Israeli” positions, and an American emphasis on the existence of “Palestinian leadership and the union of Gaza with the West Bank under the leadership of the Palestinian Authority,” there is ambiguity in these positions, as Blinken indicated the need for “some transitional period” in the end of the war, and that the occupying state will assume comprehensive security responsibility in Gaza for an indefinite period.

These phrases carry a great degree of ambiguity and maneuvering, as they contain within them many possibilities, the most important of which is the continuation of the Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip, especially since it says “for an unlimited period.” Also, the idea of the transitional phase means the phase of preparing a system for managing Gaza that does not exclude any of the proposed options. In any case, there does not appear to be a significant difference in views between the occupying state and the United States regarding the future of the Gaza Strip.

Big obstacles

It seemed clear from the beginning that all of the proposed alternatives were not viable.

However, the extensive coverage of Israeli and American plans during the war days raises major question marks, as there are many obstacles to implementing any of these alternatives, the most important of which are:

- Arab and regional opposition to most of these plans, and this is very important, because the implementation of a number of them requires Arab approval and participation.

- The weakness of the Palestinian Authority, the erosion of its legitimacy, and its inability to manage the West Bank, in addition to the clear Israeli efforts to marginalize it further, weaken it, and limit it to a specific functional role.

- The possibility of opening new war fronts, especially by Hezbollah, whose Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah confirmed that he would not allow the defeat of the Palestinian resistance and Hamas in particular.

- The most influential factor is that the resistance is still resisting, and it clearly appears that it is very far from military defeat. On the other hand, the Israeli army was not able to occupy the Gaza Strip, not even its north, so its progress is very slow, and the areas of its advance are areas of escalating confrontation, not areas of occupation and stabilization of control. .

In the face of these very difficult obstacles, it seems that talking about the post-Hamas era or the “day after” is far from reality, and is not certain to happen unless the exact opposite happens. In light of this, Netanyahu said: “We will not talk about the future” of Gaza until after the elimination of Hamas.

Get used to starting

Long experience and experience with the Israeli occupation prove that its permanent policy is to present plans and visions and keep everyone busy discussing them, while it is busy shaping the reality on the ground.

Since the Oslo Accords in 1993, the occupation has put forward dozens of plans and initiatives, declared its commitment to the two-state solution, signed agreements and entered into multiple negotiations, then stopped the negotiations and began putting forward new initiatives, such as Netanyahu’s economic peace, the plan to annex the West Bank, the “deal of the century,” and reducing the conflict for the former prime minister Naftali Bennett, and the settlement plan of the settler minister Bezalel Smotrich.

While everyone was preoccupied with these plans and proposals, the occupation was imposing facts on the ground and reshaping the status quo in order to achieve its ultimate goals related to settlement and displacement in the West Bank.

The current reality in the Gaza Strip is no different. While all parties are preoccupied with the post-war issue, the occupation imposes facts on the ground. The conflict and lack of clarity of the occupation regarding the future of the Gaza Strip is not only related to the fact that it does not have implementable goals, but rather it is a policy of creating facts through field so as not to be exposed to criticism that hinders the implementation of its goals.

For example, in the structure of the Zionist narrative about the events of the Nakba in 1948, the occupying state justifies the reason for the displacement of the Palestinians by saying that it came at the request of the Arab leaders for the Palestinians to leave their lands, and that it did not have a plan or policy for displacement.

It is observed now that the occupation is focusing most of its military efforts on the northern Gaza Strip, but this effort ensures the destruction of all elements of life in it, including infrastructure, hospitals, stations, homes, residential buildings, and many others. It also imposes a deadly siege on it, which is compounded by the commission of criminal massacres.

In these circumstances, people have no choice but to flee south or wait to die of hunger, thirst, and bombing. It is known that the occupation will move to carry out its ground invasion of the south soon, which means that it will practice the same policies there.

The occupation army began dropping leaflets on areas in the north of the Gaza Strip, calling on them to move south, and the final plan is displacement.

Naturally, Egypt categorically rejects the option of displacement to Sinai, but displacement may not occur in the expected manner, but rather as Smotrich called for, “voluntary migration” to countries around the world.

The term voluntary migration is just a play on words. After destroying all aspects of life in Gaza and depriving people of their most basic rights, they will have no choice but to flee this reality to another place.

Transforming Gaza into a repellent environment...success is not guaranteed

The occupation has fallen into a dilemma regarding the way to deal with the Gaza Strip, although the solution to this dilemma is very simple, which is to make a concession to meet the minimum Palestinian national rights by establishing a fully sovereign Palestinian state on the 1967 borders.

However, the occupation completely ignored this solution and killed the possibility of achieving it, and now the United States is looking for a way out of its dilemma and its lack of options in dealing with the Gaza Strip.

It is clear that the West Bank is currently excluded from all these calculations, even though the occupation’s predicament is not limited to Gaza, but rather includes the West Bank, including Jerusalem as well.

In light of the preoccupation with discussing American and Israeli plans and theses for the post-war period, the occupation is busy drawing the future of Gaza and the West Bank by working on the ground and creating conditions for displacement, under the name of “voluntary immigration,” by “Cauterizing awareness” of the Palestinian people, terrorizing them, and pushing them to surrender to the Zionist machine of killing and destruction to make them receptive to the idea of leaving their land, which is no longer fit for life.

However, it is not necessary for the occupation to succeed in this endeavor either, as the obstacles that faced all the alternatives that were previously proposed, including displacement, also face this undeclared option, as everything depends on the results of the war and the extent of the occupying state’s ability to venture to push other fronts and Arab countries to the front line. But this requires standing up to this plan as well, and taking measures to stop the systematic killing and destruction aimed at exterminating and displacing the Palestinians.

Source: Al Jazeera


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