Discussions about Gaza’s postwar future are gaining momentum even as fighting in the enclave intensified on Thursday and there was no breakthrough on a new ceasefire deal.
The U.S. said, however, that “serious negotiations” were taking place for another temporary truce and the release of more Israeli hostages.
Hamas in talks about how to govern Gaza
Hamas is preparing for an end to the war. The militant group, whose political wing is based in Qatar, has started talks with the Palestinian Authority and Palestinian Liberation Organization to determine a governance structure for the Gaza Strip after the conflict is over, The Wall Street Journal reported. Israel has said it does not want to reoccupy Gaza, meaning groups must establish a system to handle the enclave’s affairs. Appointing the Palestinian Authority as a governing body in the area has been floated by Washington, but Israel opposes the plan.
Saudi think tank, France discuss Gaza plan
A Saudi Arabian think tank has developed a plan that would see Hamas’ leadership exiled to Algeria, and forge a multi-nation peacekeeping force led by Arab states, France’s Le Monde reported. The status of the proposal, which was developed during a meeting between officials from the French foreign affairs ministry and the director of the Gulf Research Center, is unclear. The document also raises the possibility of combining representatives from Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, and Fatah to manage the Gaza Strip for four years and establish an elections structure.
US clashes with Netanyahu on two-state solution
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has long opposed the establishment of a Palestinian state. Many nations, including the U.S., have backed a two-state solution as the way out of the conflict. But Netanyahu has resisted such calls, saying this week that he was “proud that I prevented the establishment of a Palestinian state,” a position that has created tension with Washington. Officials view Netanyahu’s stance as an obstacle to ending violence between Israel and Palestinians, The Soufan Center noted in a recent report: “U.S. leaders might lack the leverage to compel Netanyahu to align his positions with theirs, leaving Washington with few options other than to hope for the collapse of Netanyahu’s governing coalition.”