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Is Bibi finally considering compromise? Will it work?

God only knows, but bringing this crazy thing to a cease fire is a step towards sanity.

The over reaction and impact on 2 million innocent Palestinian civilians is going to be a thorn in the side to peace as the populace will rightfully distrust Israel or worse. Did Israel want to kill or destroy the lives of innocents? No. Did they lift a finger to help them as they leveled their homes? Sure, they gave them 48 hours to say goodby to their communities, friends, possessions...Ergo, if I was a Palestinian I'd think that Bibi and his crew indifferently view me as a harmless insect. Ergo my life is of limited value.

The allies had radically different post war plans during WWI and WWII. If Isreal and the nations who support don't have some equivalent of a Marshall Plan to help rebuild Gaza City the likelihood of peace isn't terrific.

Do I think the Right Wingers who hold considerable influence over Bibi will get this? Absolutely not.

Israel Signals It Could Agree to Palestinian Authority Governing Gaza After the War

Top Netanyahu adviser opens door to Gaza role if current West Bank leadership makes ‘fundamental reform’

By David S. Cloud, WSJ

Updated Dec. 21, 2023

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s national security adviser indicated that Israel could accept a U.S. plan for a revamped Palestinian Authority to govern the Gaza Strip after the war, a sign that the Israeli leader is easing his opposition to the idea.

“Israel is aware of the desire of the international community and the countries of the region to integrate the Palestinian Authority the day after Hamas, and we make it clear that the matter will require a fundamental reform of the Palestinian Authority,” Tzachi Hanegbi, who heads Israel’s National Security Council, wrote in an opinion piece published Thursday on the Arabic-language news site Elaph.

Israel, he added, “is ready for this effort.”

Biden administration officials said Hanegbi’s comments in the opinion piece were a welcome development. But an official said the administration still believes the PA isn’t ready yet to go into Gaza anytime soon, as it will take time to revamp the organization both politically and financially.

Israel is beginning to grapple with the dilemma that, after its troops withdraw, some entity will need to step into war-shattered Gaza to deliver food, shelter and medicine to the 2.2 million people who live there.

Without a civil administration ready to assume responsibility for Gaza after the war, the already dire humanitarian conditions could worsen, creating new security risks. Israel says it doesn’t want a role in administering Gaza after the war.

Palestinians searched for survivors on Wednesday following an Israeli attack on Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian Authority, which governs the West Bank, didn’t respond to a request for comment following the publication of Hanegbi’s article. The group’s prime minister, Mohammad Shtayyeh, previously told The Wall Street Journal that the Palestinian Authority is prepared to govern the Gaza Strip, but only if there is a complete Israeli military withdrawal.

Netanyahu has repeatedly rejected U.S. suggestions that postwar Gaza should be run by the Palestinian Authority. The Israeli prime minister has said the organization represents as much of a security threat to Israel as Hamas, the U.S.-designated terror group that took over Gaza in 2007 and whose Oct. 7 attacks on southern Israel sparked the Israeli invasion.

“After the great sacrifice of our civilians and our soldiers, I will not allow the entry into Gaza of those who educate for terrorism, support terrorism and finance terrorism,” Netanyahu said on Dec. 12, referring to the Palestinian Authority.

The Biden administration maintains that a “revamped and revitalized” Palestinian Authority should have a role in running postwar Gaza, potentially forming the nucleus of a future government. U.S. officials have pressed the Authority to purge its aging leadership, set a timetable for elections and overhaul its security forces, which the U.S. helps to train.

“There are some things they have to address to make themselves credible and authentic in that space,” White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Wednesday.

The U.S. has pointed to the performance of the West Bank Palestinian security forces since Oct. 7, keeping the Hamas branch there at bay, as a reason to believe they could handle Gaza if retrained and augmented by new recruits from the enclave.

Hanegbi’s stress on the need for overhauls in the Palestinian Authority echoed U.S. calls for sweeping changes in the West Bank entity. Israeli officials have placed more emphasis than the U.S. on the Palestinian Authority’s educational policies and payments to Palestinians killed by Israeli forces, which they say encourages anti-Israel militancy.

Hanegbi’s article was immediately criticized on Thursday by far-right members of Netanyahu’s government.

“This position does not represent the position of the Israeli government and the prime minister should call him to order,” Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who heads a far-right party, said on X, formally known as Twitter.

A senior Israeli official said Thursday that Israel still opposes a role in Gaza for the Palestinian Authority “the way it is now.”

The Authority would also need international assistance to “demilitarize” and “deradicalize” Gaza, the official said, adding that those aims would more likely be accomplished by “local leadership” with help from Arab governments such as the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, the United Nations, the U.S. and European countries.

Palestinian officials and Arab governments say that a lasting cease-fire is necessary in Gaza before they will agree to seriously discuss postwar arrangements, including the steps the U.S. is calling for the Palestinian Authority to take.

Hamas, which took control of governing the Gaza Strip in 2007, has undertaken its own planning efforts. Hamas political leaders have held talks with rival group Fatah, the dominant faction of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, about how to govern Gaza and the West Bank after the war ends. Husam Badran, a member of Hamas’s Doha-based political bureau, told the Journal that Hamas hasn’t held talks with the Palestinian Authority or its leader, Mahmoud Abbas.

In past political discussions, Hamas has consistently refused to disband its military wing—meaning a Hamas role in governing would depend on Israel stopping short of its stated goal of eliminating the organization and any threat it poses to Israel.

Another unresolved hurdle is Israel’s insistence that it will maintain security control in Gaza for an undefined period after its troops withdraw, which many Arab officials say will make governance in Gaza similar to the situation on the West Bank, with Israeli troops conducting frequent raids into areas nominally under Palestinian control.

Netanyahu’s rejection of a Palestinian Authority role in Gaza was intended to help shore up his flagging domestic support, amid calls for his resignation for failing to prevent Hamas’s attack and the government’s early fumbles in handling the crisis, Israeli analysts said.

His rival, Benny Gantz, head of the National Unity party and a former defense minister who is now a member of Netanyahu’s war cabinet, has also said that Israel would retain full security control over Gaza and called for local leaders in Gaza, along with a coalition of Arab countries, to assume responsibility for civil administration.

Gantz has never publicly rejected a role for the Palestinian Authority.

On Thursday, the Israeli military said fighting was continuing in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis, where Israeli officials have said they believe Hamas military leaders are hiding.

Israel has called for residents to evacuate, posting warnings on its Arabic-language social-media feeds, but with communications outages a growing problem across Gaza, many residents were unable to read the messages. Outages this week were a result of “cuts in the main fiber routes in Khan Younis,” the U.N. said.

Asked if Israel had attacked the communications system, a spokesman for the Israeli military said: “In response to Hamas’ barbaric attacks, the IDF is operating to dismantle Hamas military and administrative capabilities.”

Frequent blackouts have left many Gazans unable to make phone calls, access the internet or send messages, in some cases for days.

Amira Hisham, 36 years old, a Gaza City resident, said she keeps her phone by the window so it can catch any signal when service resumes.

“The worst thing about this is that we hear bombing all the time, and we don’t have internet to know where the bombing is, where the tanks are,” she said. “Are they getting close? Are we safe? Is there any news about a cease-fire? We know nothing. We feel totally isolated.”

Gordon Lubold, Anat Peled, Abeer Ayyoub and Omar Abdel-Baqui contributed to this article.

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