Netanyahu Outlines Post-War Strategy, Emphasizes Security Measures

By Yoni Weiss

An IDF soldier walks next to military vehicles, near the Israel-Gaza border, Thursday. (REUTERS/Susana Vera)

Following criticism for not addressing the “day after” Hamas in Gaza, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu presented his principles for the post-war reality to the government overnight Thursday. The document, released by the Prime Minister’s Office, outlines principles reflecting a broad public consensus on the war’s goals and proposes a civil alternative to the terrorist organization’s rule in the Gaza Strip.

In the immediate timeframe, the document asserts that, as a prerequisite for reaching the “day after,” the IDF will persist in its military operations until it accomplishes key objectives: destroying Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s military capabilities and governing infrastructure, securing the release of kidnapped soldiers, and preventing long-term threats from the Gaza Strip.

During the interim period, the document delineates two dimensions: military and civilian. On the military front, Israel aims to maintain operational freedom throughout the Gaza Strip without a time limit to prevent terrorism resurgence and counter threats from Gaza. The establishment of a security buffer along the Israel-Gaza border, the maintenance of a “southern closure” on the Gaza-Egypt border to thwart re-armament, control of security west of the Jordan River, including the Gaza envelope area, to counter terrorism, and the demilitarization of all military capabilities in Gaza are also highlighted.

On the civilian front, the proposal suggests that responsibility for public order should rest with local actors with “management experience” rather than those associated with countries or agencies supporting terrorism. Additionally, a de-radicalization program is proposed for all religious, educational, and welfare institutions in the strip. The document also emphasizes that Israel will work towards closing UNRWA, and the rehabilitation of the strip will only be considered after completing demilitarization.

In the long term, Israel explicitly rejects international dictates regarding a permanent settlement with the Palestinians. The document asserts that such an agreement can only be achieved through direct negotiations between the parties without preconditions. Israel will continue to oppose the unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state, stating that such recognition would reward unprecedented terrorism and hinder any future peace agreement.

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