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Financial Times Calls for Humanitarian Ceasefire, Questions What Comes Next

The Editorial Board of the City of London’s Financial Times waded into the global discussion over the Israeli-Gaza conflict Nov. 23, with an editorial, which argues that the hostage freeing-humanitarian aid “breakthrough must not be wasted,” but lead to a “humanitarian ceasefire.”

The main concern of the editors is over what comes after the war—to which, they have no apparent answer. They complain that Israel does not have any plan for what follows its “ferocious assault,” nor has shown any signs of discussing who will govern Gaza. For their part, they dismiss suggestions they see coming from Washington, D.C., for the Palestinian Authority to take control over Gaza after the conflict is over, as “likely to prove unrealistic in practice.” Likewise, they dismiss what they see as Israel’s apparent “betting” that responsibility for governing Gaza can be fobbed onto the U.S. and Arab states, arguing that “no outside actor will want to be seen to be riding into the wreckage of Gaza on the back of Israeli tanks, take responsibility for a desolate population, and face an insurgency.”

The caveat in their musings is, that there is no way of knowing what the reality on the ground in Gaza will be, until the bombardment of Gaza stops. The discussions in Western capitals about the “day after” are important, but “if Israel continues on its current path, there will be little left but a wasteland where the roots of the next crisis will inevitably start to take hold,” they do recognize.