OPINIONS

Sat 24 Feb 2024 2:17 pm - Jerusalem Time

Hebrew Media: Netanyahu's paper was prepared to calm the Americans, Ben Gvir and Smotrich

By Yaron Avraham and Nir Dvori

Before the end of the Cabinet meeting, the Prime Minister distributed to his ministers the “The Day After the War” document, which explains what the Gaza Strip will look like after the war. This document contains nothing new, according to the comments of the majority of Cabinet members, and the question that arises now is: Why did it take so long to prepare such a document? Yesterday, an official source in the cabinet told Channel 12 that “Netanyahu wrote the document only to calm the Americans, but its content is intended not to anger Smotrich and Ben Gvir.” The source also claimed that Netanyahu knows that no one can rule the Strip except Hamas or Fatah.

What remains now is to know how the United States will respond to this document, and how the moderate Arab countries, which are conducting negotiations with the aim of reaching a normalization treaty with Israel, will react. What must be emphasized here is that when one reads the “The Day After the War” document drafted by Netanyahu, one feels that it is only a summary of his numerous press conferences, and is not considered a political plan.

In his document, Netanyahu spoke about the issue of security control over the Gaza Strip, which, of course, represents an Israeli consensus. He stressed that the control will be carried out by “local parties with administrative experience,” not identified with “terrorist” countries, or parties supporting “terrorism.” This trend did not surprise the members of the cabinet, as Defense Minister Yoav Galant used the term “local parties,” and so did Minister Gantz, who formulated a similar plan. In fact, Netanyahu himself issued closed-door instructions to the army to assign these agencies to organize humanitarian aid.


Shortcomings of the “Day After the War” plan

One of the major problems with this paper is that it is called "The Day After the War", although it does not look at the long term, but rather focuses on the short term. In order to determine what will actually happen the next day, a series of difficult decisions must be made, the most important of which is: Who will seize power in the Gaza Strip in the end? Meanwhile, we only know who is prohibited from receiving judgment, without any idea who deserves to receive it.

Soon, a pilot project will begin in the Zaytoun neighborhood, a neighborhood dominated by two clans identified with the Fatah movement. These two clans are known to be scary, and Hamas itself fears them. There is a possibility that these two clans will lead the distribution of humanitarian aid in Gaza, and thus Israel will be able to consider whether the model of governing the Strip by local elements will actually work. However, this is still not enough, as every rational person realizes that people like this are not capable of managing the sector, but rather their ability to help lies in helping to solve time-bound problems. This issue is very complex, and requires in-depth thinking.

It is important here to add that the “day after the war” is not as close as some people think. In practice, it seems that the military campaign against Rafah will not begin before the end of March, despite Netanyahu's attempts to accelerate the military plan. The reason for the postponement is that a campaign of this size requires coordination with the Americans and reaching understandings, in addition to coordination with the Egyptians, and a series of activities within the sector itself, in addition to the issue of refugees and the required evacuation of civilians from the region. This step cannot be done without adequate planning, and must be organized and carefully managed.

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Hebrew Media: Netanyahu's paper was prepared to calm the Americans, Ben Gvir and Smotrich

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