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Israel’s ‘Day After’ Plan for Gaza: West Bank 2.0 on Steroids

Israel is looking for some kind of local alternative to rule Gaza in place of Hamas. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said in a briefing that “we seek a governing alternative to Hamas. The framework for this includes isolating areas, removing Hamas operatives in these areas and bringing in other forces that will enable the formation of a governing alternative.” That will achieve Israel’s goals of removing Hamas’ military and governing authority in Gaza and returning home the remaining hostages taken in the Oct. 7 Hamas attack that sparked the war, Gallant said. He stressed that “we will not accept the rule of Hamas at any stage in any process aimed at ending the war.”

In response to questions, an Israeli defense official told the Associated Press that Gallant hopes to enable isolated, Hamas-free areas in Gaza to become “hubs of local government” and identify forces that can enable a longer-term formation of a government. Israel is looking for “local non-hostile actors,” the official said, adding that Gallant believes that “Palestinians should be governing Palestinians.” Israel would facilitate surges of aid to the areas, and the acceptable local forces could have their authority strengthened as they would be in control of distributing the aid.

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