Israel is open to a “deradicalized” Palestinian Authority that would govern Gaza after the war | International

“I’m not going to change Hamastan For Fatahstan“. In this very graphic manner, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed on Saturday his radical opposition to the post-war takeover of the Gaza Strip by the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) – governed by Al Fatah -, which controls Hamas. after a military operation which has already left 20,000 dead (70% civilians). The statement in which he said this came after he acknowledged for the first time disagreements with the United States regarding the post-conflict scenario in the Gaza Strip. He thus said no to the two-state solution that Washington and the EU have resurrected. “I will not allow the State of Israel to repeat the fateful mistake of Oslo,” he said, referring to the 1993 accords that created the PNA and brought that solution to fruition. horizon. Five days later, the head of his Security Council opened up to the ANP which governs the Gaza Strip, but demands its deradicalization.

Netanyahu’s initial steadfast position appears to be cracking among the prime minister’s aides. “Israel is aware of the desire of the international community and the countries of the region to integrate the ANP (in Gaza) when Hamas disappears,” declared the chairman of the National Security Council of the Israeli government, Tzachi Hanegbi, in an article published this Thursday in Saudi digital media Elaph. “This issue will require a fundamental reform of the PNA that will focus on its duty to educate new generations in Gaza, Ramallah, Jenin and Jericho (the last three cities in the West Bank, today controlled by the Palestinian Authority)” the values ​​of moderation and tolerance” and “without incitement to violence with Israel”. The Hanegbi forum assured that, to achieve this, “a great effort and assistance from the international community” will be necessary. “We are ready for this effort,” he concluded.

The Israeli government denies that there are contradictions between what Hanegbi argued in his article and Netanyahu’s position. “What Israel wants is a moderate Palestinian administration with the help of moderate countries,” says a senior official in Netanyahu’s executive branch. “We don’t want Hamas, but we also don’t want a recycling of the current situation with the current ANP. We don’t want to be the ones to govern the Gaza Strip either,” he adds. According to this senior official, the objectives that Israel is pursuing with the war on this territory are to demilitarize and deradicalize it, but also “to establish a civil administration that cares about the people who live there.” In its vision of the post-conflict scenario, the Executive wishes to have the collaboration of “moderate countries”. Among those classified as such are the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. Also the United States and the European Union.

“We need new (Palestinian) leadership. People who don’t hate us,” says this senior official. This change at the head of the ANP is necessary because, he says, the government of Mahmud Abbas “does not want to participate in this vision of reconciliation nor be our partner”. “We tell them where the terrorists are in the West Bank and they do nothing,” he continues. “The ANP educates its children to become murderers; “They talk to them about terrorists as martyrs who should be admired.” The senior official assures that, with the current configuration of this administration, the “deradicalization” sought by Israel will not be achieved. They want a change. “I hope we can do it.”

“There is no negotiation” on the hostages

But the tentative path toward possibility that the Netanyahu government has taken is not only reflected in its openness to hypothetical Palestinian control of the Gaza Strip. It is also a new break in the fighting which allows a new exchange of hostages for Palestinians imprisoned in Israeli prisons. After its radical refusal to negotiate a second truce, the Israeli executive was forced to seek one in the face of internal pressure for the release of the hostages, provoked by the incident in which three hostages brandished white flags as a sign of capitulation were shot down. killed by the soldiers whose mission was to rescue them when they were mistaken for Hamas fighters.

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Israel wants to reach a new agreement with the militias to free the hostages and has taken steps to achieve this. This week it sent the director of its foreign information service (Mosad), David Barnea, to meet the Qatari government, which plays the role of intermediary with Egypt. To achieve this, the Palestinian Islamist group is demanding an immediate cessation of hostilities, which the Israeli government is not willing to grant. Sources within Netanyahu’s executive assure that the process has stalled and that, for the moment, “there are no negotiations.” These same sources assure, however, that Israel is open to a new agreement to release all the hostages. “The earliest would be best”.

“There is a Palestinian national decision that there will be no prisoner negotiations or exchange agreements except after a complete cessation of (Israeli) aggression,” Hamas said in a statement. The organization’s leader, Ismail Haniya, traveled to Egypt on Wednesday to take part in the talks, but a spokesperson for the movement assured that he would not participate in Israel’s “game” with a new exchange in exchange of a temporary truce which would resume later. …his offensive. During the temporary ceasefire at the end of November, Hamas freed 105 hostages out of the 240 kidnapped on October 7, when it also killed 1,200 people on Israeli territory. There are still around 130 in Gaza, and an unknown number of dead.

Risk of famine in just two months

As both sides fail in their attempts to reach an agreement, more than half a million Gazans face hunger due to insufficient food supplies in the Gaza Strip, according to a report from the UN. The document emphasizes that the situation has eclipsed crises of near-famine such as those experienced in Afghanistan or Yemen in recent years. “The situation cannot get worse,” World Food Program chief economist Arif Husain told The Associated Press. “I have never seen anything as big as what is happening in Gaza and at this speed, in just two months. »

The World Health Organization (WHO) also warned Thursday that “the deadly combination of hunger and disease” would generate more deaths in the territory attacked by Israel, which, according to this organization, would particularly affect “children , pregnant women, breastfeeding women. mothers and the elderly. Gaza faces “catastrophic levels of food insecurity with the risk of famine growing every day.” “93% of the population suffers critical levels of hunger due to lack of food and malnutrition,” says the WHO.

“We are traveling across Gaza delivering medical supplies and people are running to our trucks hoping it is food,” the organization’s staff said, which officials say is “an indicator of the despair” of the population. . More than 100,000 citizens of the Gaza Strip have suffered from diarrhea since mid-October, half of whom are children under the age of five, representing a 25-fold increase in incidence compared to before the war. “While a healthy body can more easily fight off these diseases, an exhausted and weakened body will have difficulty doing so. »

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