Netanyahu's Adviser: No Plans to Occupy Gaza, But Security Presence Required

Regev said that Israel is considering a more "flexible" option, which would allow entry and exit to the enclave as needed

by Sededin Dedovic
Netanyahu's Adviser: No Plans to Occupy Gaza, But Security Presence Required
© Alexi J. Rosenfeld / Getty Images

In Israel's post-war strategy for Gaza, as conveyed by Mark Regev, adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the central focus is on avoiding a "permanent occupation" of the region. Regev, in his statement to CNN, emphasized the pursuit of a more adaptable and dynamic approach.

This approach envisions allowing controlled entry and exit into Gaza as necessary to address security challenges, instead of locking into a commitment of permanent occupation in the Gaza Strip. This reflects a commitment to addressing security concerns while keeping an eye on the broader regional stability and peace prospects.

This clarification follows comments made by Netanyahu to US media, where he stated that Israel would assume "full security responsibility" in Gaza for an "indefinite period" after the war's conclusion. Regev stressed the importance of distinguishing between "security presence" and "political control" in understanding Israel's intentions.

The primary goal of Israel's post-war plan is to prevent the resurgence of terrorist elements, particularly Hamas, once they have been defeated. Regev underlined the need for an Israeli security presence to maintain regional security while emphasizing that this presence does not entail a reoccupation of Gaza or the imposition of Israeli governance over the enclave.

Israel wants a demilitarized Gaza with international supervision, it does not want to occupy it

"On the contrary," Regev stated, "we are interested in establishing new frameworks where the residents of Gaza can organize their own administration.

There will be international support for the reconstruction of Gaza. We hope to engage countries, including Arab states, in the reconstruction of a demilitarized Gaza after Hamas is no longer a threat." In summary, Israel's post-war plan is centered on maintaining a security presence in Gaza to ensure the prevention of a Hamas resurgence and regional security.

This approach does not entail a permanent occupation or governance of the Gaza Strip. Instead, it seeks to enable the residents of Gaza to establish their own administration, with international support for the enclave's reconstruction and development, with hopes of engaging the support of various countries, including Arab states, in the process.