The US and Israel are reportedly considering the creation of an interim administration in Gaza, with the backing of the United Nations (UN) and Arab governments, according to a report from Bloomberg. These plans are said to be at an early stage and would depend on future developments, including the success of Israel’s ground operation against Hamas. However, securing the participation of regional Arab states could prove challenging.
William Usher, a former senior Middle East analyst at the CIA, commented on the potential difficulties of getting Arab nations on board, stating that it would require a significant shift in how Arab states accept risk and work with one another. He also noted that it would require a “leap of trust” from Israel, at a time when trust is in short supply.
The idea of an interim administration in Gaza comes in the wake of a surprise attack by Hamas on Israel, which resulted in thousands of deaths and injuries. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to “crush and destroy” the Palestinian group in response.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant outlined three phases of war with Hamas. The first phase would involve aerial bombardment and ground operations, followed by lower-intensity fighting to eliminate “pockets of resistance” in Gaza. The final stage would see the removal of Israel’s responsibility for life in the Gaza Strip and the establishment of a new security reality.
Meanwhile, Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid has suggested that the best solution for Gaza after the conflict would be to return control to the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, which was ousted by Hamas in 2007.
In addition to these developments, the US and some of its European allies are reportedly urging Israel to postpone its ground operation in order to secure the release of hostages held by Hamas. Bloomberg also reported that US officials have exerted unprecedented influence over the plan for the ground operation, fearing that it could escalate into a broader conflict involving Hezbollah, a Lebanon-based Islamist military group with close ties to Iran.
It is important to note that the creation of an interim administration in Gaza would require significant coordination and cooperation between Israel, Arab governments, and the UN. The success of such a plan would depend on various factors, including the outcome of Israel’s ground operation and the willingness of regional Arab states to participate. As these discussions are still in the early stages, it remains to be seen how this proposal will progress and whether it will ultimately be implemented.