Netanyahu's Strategy Includes Overhauling Gaza's Administration and Education

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has unveiled a plan for Gaza following the potential defeat of Hamas.

by Faruk Imamovic
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Netanyahu's Strategy Includes Overhauling Gaza's Administration and Education
© Getty Images/Spencer Platt

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has unveiled a plan for Gaza following the potential defeat of Hamas. This strategy, outlined in a document presented to Israel's security cabinet, proposes sweeping changes aimed at ensuring long-term peace and security in the region.

Security and Demilitarization at the Forefront

Central to Netanyahu's proposal is the "complete demilitarization" of Gaza, a goal that seeks to eradicate the military capabilities of Hamas, the organization governing the enclave.

Hamas is recognized as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, and other entities. The plan also envisions sealing off Gaza's southern border with Egypt, a move aimed at curtailing the flow of weapons and militants.

This aspect of the strategy would shift control of all entry and exit points of the enclave to Israel, a proposal that would require close coordination with Egypt and, implicitly, the backing of the United States.

Revamping Gaza's Civil Infrastructure

Beyond security concerns, Netanyahu's plan ambitiously aims to overhaul Gaza's civil administration and education systems.

One of the more controversial elements involves cutting off funding from Qatar to Gaza, a significant source of financial aid for the territory under the current Hamas administration. The plan stipulates that local entities running the civil service must not align with or receive payments from countries or entities that support terrorism.

This could potentially include the Palestinian Authority, which Israel and the U.S. have suggested could govern Gaza in a post-Hamas scenario. Furthermore, the proposal calls for a "de-radicalization" of Gaza's education system, which has been accused of promoting antisemitism and hostility towards Israel.

Another significant aspect is the intention to dismantle the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the main UN agency supporting Palestinian refugees, and replace it with other international aid organizations. This move follows accusations against some UNRWA employees of involvement in Hamas' attacks.

Challenges and International Reception

The viability of Netanyahu's plan faces several hurdles, not least of which is the opposition from key international and regional players. Proposals such as the creation of a buffer zone and the control over Gaza's border with Egypt have already met with resistance from the United States and Egypt, respectively.

The United Arab Emirates has also expressed reluctance to support Gaza's reconstruction without a clear path to an independent Palestinian state, a prospect Netanyahu's plan explicitly rejects. Moreover, the proposal's omission of any role for the Palestinian Authority in Gaza's future governance raises questions about its acceptability to Palestinians and the feasibility of achieving lasting peace.

Benjamin Netanyahu
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