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Israel to test its vision of 'humanitarian enclaves' after Gaza war ends

The Israel is looking for Palestinians not affiliated with Hamas to manage political affairs in its areas Gaza Strip which have been designated as test sites for enclave administration after the end of the war, a senior Israeli official said today.

But the Hamas said the plan, which the Israeli official said would also exclude any official from the internationally recognized Palestinian Authority (PA), would amount to an Israeli recapture of Gaza and was doomed to failure.

The Israeli official said the planned “humanitarian enclaves” would be located in areas of the Gaza Strip from which Hamas has been driven out, but their ultimate success would depend on Israel achieving its goal of eliminating the Islamist group from the entire coastal area which it governs. “We are looking for the right people to do it,” the official told Reuters on condition of anonymity. “But it's clear that it will take time, as no one is going to come forward if they think Hamas is going to put a bullet in their head.”

The plan, the official continued, “can be achieved if Hamas is destroyed and poses no threat to Israel or the people of Gaza.”

Israel's top channel Channel 12 reported that the Zeitoun neighborhood in northern Gaza City is a candidate for the plan, under which local merchants and civil society leaders will distribute humanitarian aid. THE Israeli army will provide regional security to Zeitoun, Channel 12 reported, saying renewed military raids there this week are designed to root out what remains of a Hamas stronghold that was hit hard in the early stages of the war.

There is no official confirmation of the Channel 12 report.

Indication of confusion

Asked about the Israeli official's comments and the Channel 12 report, senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zohri said such a plan would amount to Israel retaking Gaza, from which it withdrew troops and settlers in 2005. Israel says will indefinitely exercise security control over Gaza after the war, but denies that this would mean recapturing it. “We are sure that this plan is pointless and a sign of confusion and will never succeed.”Abu Zohri told Reuters.

The Israeli official also made it clear that the Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited self-rule in the occupied West Bank, would also be excluded as a partner in the “humanitarian enclaves” for failing to condemn Hamas' attack on Israel on October 7.

Its fighters killed 1,200 people and took another 253 hostage in that attack, according to Israel, prompting an Israeli ground offensive and aerial bombardment of Gaza in which nearly 30,000 people have been killed, according to Gaza health authorities. “Anyone who took part or did not condemn on October 7 is disqualified,” the official said.

Wasel Abu Yousef, a senior official of the Palestine Liberation Organization of which the Palestinian Authority is a part, also appeared today to disparage the Israeli plan. “All of Israel's efforts to change the geographic and demographic characteristics of Gaza will not succeed,” he told Reuters.

The United States has called for a “reinvigorated” Palestinian Authority to rule Gaza after the war. But Israel has been cool with the idea, noting that the Palestinian Authority makes payments to imprisoned militants.

Still, the official said, Israel would be willing to consider potential partners for the “humanitarian enclave” that had past ties to the Palestinian Authority's ruling Fatah faction, a rival of Hamas.

Source: News Beast

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