Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant yesterday presented his four-point plan for the administration of the Gaza Strip for the “day after” the fighting ceases. He both had a press conference and he presented it to Israel’s War Cabinet. It then touched off a bizarre, prolonged screaming match last night at a full cabinet meeting. At the press conference, he indicated that he had consulted with Washington on the plan. On the face of it, it is unworkable and it may well be no more than an appeasement of Washington and an attempt to stem the tide in President Biden’s collapse in the polls.
According to the Times of Israel, “this is the first time a senior Israeli official has laid out a detailed blueprint for the Strip after the war....” Gallant proposes that the IDF should stay in Gaza, controlling all the borders and exercising full military control. (With no provisions for police, or any body to oversee law and order, it seems that the IDF would, de facto, be laying down the law, i.e., a martial law.) Palestinians are to administer the local services, electricity, water, sewage, such as they are; however, not only is Hamas excluded, but so also is the Palestinian Authority. There is no two-state solution, nor is Israeli settlement activity allowed. The U.S., Egypt and moderate Arab countries are supposed to comprise a multinational force to lead a rehabilitation process—though, since all are on record for a two-state solution, it is not clear on what basis Israel thinks it could secure such a team.