OPINIONS

Wed 08 Nov 2023 9:08 am - Jerusalem Time

Who will rule Gaza by the end of the war?

By  Ali Hamada

Last Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke about the post-Hamas phase in the Gaza Strip. He indicated that Israel is the one that may assume security responsibility in the Strip for a period of time. Last night, Agence France-Presse quoted American officials as saying that the American administration opposes Israel’s reoccupation of the Gaza Strip. In other words, Washington opposes the Israelis assuming security responsibility in the post-Hamas period.

 

Of course, these positions are based on estimates that the Israeli army will be able to resolve the war in its favor in the Gaza Strip, first in the northern part, then in the southern part. These positions or proposals are not limited to the Americans or the Israelis. Rather, the Europeans are working to formulate visions for the post-Hamas era in Gaza. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stressed in her speech last Monday to ambassadors accredited to the European Union that “we must think about tomorrow to imagine what permanent peace could look like, to restore hope to the Palestinians and Israelis. They need a perspective that is a two-state solution.” She added, "Hamas cannot control or rule Gaza, and there must be only one Palestinian national authority and one state," and "There cannot be a long-term Israeli security presence in Gaza. Gaza is an essential part of any future Palestinian state."

 

This is a very brief sample of the pattern of thinking in the post-war phase, in which the West acts as if its results are settled in terms of ending Hamas’ rule of the Gaza Strip. But what caught my attention was the Kremlin’s position yesterday, Tuesday, expressed by Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov, in which he said: “It is very important that there be humanitarian truces during the Israeli operation in Gaza!” In other words, Moscow is also acting on the basis that the Israeli military operation in Gaza will continue, and that the focus now is on humanitarian truces, not on stopping the war, nor on a medium or long-term ceasefire. "Only humanitarian truces, usually limited to a ceasefire for a few hours."

 

So we are talking about a course of war that the international community deals with on the basis that its results are predetermined. That is, ending Hamas' rule in the Gaza Strip, and removing it as a military and political force from the equation by eliminating it from its main stronghold in Gaza. As for Hamas' military presence in the West Bank, it remains limited and has limited impact. As for its presence in Lebanon and Syria, its effectiveness is also limited, because if it loses its base in the Gaza Strip, it will be greatly weakened. But this is not coupled with the inevitability of the current Palestinian National Authority replacing it in Gaza, given the structural weaknesses that the authority suffers from, starting with its sagging and weak leadership.

 

In any case, it is too early to say for certain the results of the war currently taking place in northern Gaza.

The question is: Will Israel impose its control over the northern part of the Strip in the short term? Or will the war there prolong to the point that it is no longer possible to build future visions for the Gaza Strip based on the premise of ending Hamas’ control there? Hence, the current phase, which may extend for the next two weeks, of the war in Gaza City in particular, is what will shape the future.

Annahar Al- Araby

 



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Who will rule Gaza by the end of the war?