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‘Day After Hamas’ plan unveiled by Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has formally unveiled his plan for Gaza’s future after the conflict with Hamas ends, placing a strong emphasis on the “deradicalization” of the Palestinian enclave.

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The one-page document titled ‘The Day After Hamas” was submitted to the Israeli government for discussion on Thursday, setting out proposed actions for the immediate, medium, and long term.

It reiterates Netanyahu’s stance that the Israel Defence Forces will “continue the war until the complete destruction of the military capabilities and governmental infrastructure of Hamas,” and until Israeli hostages are returned and a robust security architecture is in place.

In the medium-term, the prime minister wants Israel to “maintain operational freedom of activity” in the enclave for security purposes, without any time limit. “There will be a complete demilitarization in the Gaza Strip of any military capacity, beyond what is required for the needs of maintaining public order”.

Netanyahu also suggested maintaining a “southern closure” of the Gaza-Egypt border to prevent any smuggling into the enclave, noting that the perimeter should be guarded in cooperation with Cairo and with US assistance.

The plan proposes that civil administration responsibilities be given to “local officials” with management experience who are not tied to any entities supporting terrorism.

Meanwhile, a senior Israeli official has told the Times of Israel that the Jewish state opposes the participation of the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority (PA) in the governance of Gaza. He reportedly said that while the PA has been at odds with Hamas since being ousted from Gaza in 2007, it still failed to condemn the October 7 raid.

Netanyahu’s plan also stresses that Israel “will continue to oppose the unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state.”

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry has pushed back against Netanyahu’s plan, claiming that it essentially means “reoccupying” Gaza and obstructing efforts to establish a Palestinian state. “Netanyahu’s plan serves his interest in prolonging the war to stay in power,” it added.

Hamas launched a surprise incursion into Israel on October 7, killing some 1,200 Israelis. More than 29,000 Palestinians have been killed in the ensuing IDF operation in Gaza, according to official data.

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