Netanyahu proposes Gaza’s demilitarisation, UNRWA’s exit in post-war plan

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday evening brought his proposal for the "day after" Hamas for the approval of the Political-Security Cabinet. / Photo: AFP Archives

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has unveiled a written plan aimed at demilitarising and reconstruction of Gaza in the aftermath of the ongoing bloody conflict that has killed nearly 30,000 Palestinians and wounded over 70,000.

Netanyahu’s so-called “Post-Hamas Plan” was unveiled to his political and security cabinet in the dead of Thursday night, as reported by Israeli media.

At the heart of the proposal lies a pivotal strategy: the establishment of a civilian entity tasked with overseeing the besieged Gaza’s demilitarisation while safeguarding the Israeli army’s operational autonomy in the blockaded enclave.

This marks the first occasion when Netanyahu has formally articulated his strategies for the aftermath of the Gaza conflict in written form.

Maintaining operational freedom

According to Jerusalem Post, Netanyahu’s proposal emphasises the critical importance of demilitarisation as a prerequisite for any reconstruction efforts to commence.

This strategic approach, according to Axios, underscores Israel’s unwavering commitment to maintaining operational freedom within besieged Gaza, to prevent the resurgence of “terrorism” and ensure the security of its borders.

Key elements of this plan include the establishment of a security zone along Gaza’s fence with Israel and the implementation of robust monitoring mechanisms to maintain control over the region.

Central to Netanyahu’s vision, as detailed by Israel National News, is the complete demilitarisation of Gaza, with Israel assuming responsibility for overseeing this process to guarantee compliance.

Furthermore, plans for “de-radicalisation” initiatives within blockaded enclave’s religious, educational, and welfare institutions are highlighted, aiming to counter what Netanyahu calls “extremist” influences within the territory.

‘Reconstruction efforts’

Netanyahu’s proposal also extends to reconstruction efforts.

As reported by Jerusalem Post, the plan envisions the involvement of local civilian bodies in the administration of public services within besieged Gaza, while international aid agencies are slated to lead reconstruction efforts.

According to Axios, Netanyahu advocates for the shutting down of UNRWA, citing allegations of involvement in “violent” activities. This move underscores Israel’s determination to ensure that aid efforts align with its security interests.

While Netanyahu’s plan offers a comprehensive framework for post-war Gaza, its success may ultimately hinge on broader geopolitical factors. International support for reconstruction remains uncertain, and questions persist regarding the role of the Palestinian Authority in governance.

As Israel navigates the complexities of post-war recovery, Netanyahu’s proposal represents a shrewd, calculated move to balance security imperatives with the incentive of rebuilding Gaza’s shattered infrastructure while ensuring — all along — that the Israeli Army maintains freedom of operation across the entire besieged Gaza on an indefinite basis.

How much of this vision translates into tangible progress remains to be seen, but for now, it offers the first glimpse into Netanyahu’s strategic priorities in the wake of one of the most brutal wars in the living memory.