In search of a 'post-Hamas' Gaza

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As soon as Israel is in the second phase – of four – of its military plan in Gaza, the US State Department is trying to outline the future of the strip so that the balance in the region is not broken. Its owner, Antony Blinken, insisted last Wednesday: no to the displacement of the population to Egypt and no to the Israeli military reoccupation. Responding to Israeli Prime Minister Beniamin Netanyahu's assertion that Israel would take charge of “security” (a vague term) in Gaza for an “indefinite period,” Blinken said that period should be “transitional.”

If Netanyahu seems to allude to the maintenance of the Gaza fence as a kind of prison camp, Blinken specified that Gaza should be unified with the West Bank under the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), which is still chaired by Mahmoud Abbas. And if not, “temporary arrangements that include other countries, international agencies, etc.” would have to be applied.

Much easier said than executed, of course. This, without taking into account that the opinion of the Gazans is not even mentioned, bombed daily for a month and about whom no one invokes the Fourth Geneva Convention, which establishes the protection of the occupied civilian population, an obligation for Israel, because the Gaza's land, sea and air space are within its jurisdiction.

Mahmoud Abbas and Hussein al-Sheikh, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), respond that the PNA could administer Gaza if the US forces Israel into a “comprehensive political decision that includes Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem.” ”. That is, addressing the global Palestinian issue instead of a post-Hamas Gaza that even the Pentagon sees as illusory if the bombings last much longer.

Mustafa Barghouti, the Palestinian leader of the third way (against Al Fatah and Hamas) and a man too little listened to, has expressed it like this: “Talking about external protection over the Gaza Strip aims to give legitimacy to the Israeli occupation, to exempt it from responsibility for the humanitarian needs of those who are under occupation and transfer it to another actor.” That other actor would also include Egypt, but President Al Sisi has refused not only to welcome refugees (there is suspicion that Israel intends to expel the Gazans), but also to take charge of the “security” of Gaza until the ANP does so. . He also does not want international forces on the border, an idea already handled by the ANP in the 2008-2009 war. The difference is that then the interpretation was that Israel wanted a disarmed Hamas that still served its interests of preventing the so-called National unity Palestine. Today what he proclaims is her annihilation. In the midst of Blinken's diplomatic activity, the spokesperson for the Israeli Government, Eylon Levy, said: “It is very premature to talk about the day after of Hamas.”

Regardless of what has been said, for the ANP to take charge of Gaza without anything in return would be poisonous. Not only Mahmoud Abbas, 88 years old and almost twenty in office, is highly discredited. The thing is that in recent years, illegal Jewish settlements have multiplied in the West Bank, as have controls, arrests and all kinds of limitations; The wall of Jerusalem has also been raised. The ANP, created with the 1992 Oslo agreements between Rabin and Arafat, only has administrative power over a fraction of the occupied territory, and even its police agencies are subordinate to the Israeli army. It is not a authority real.

Mohamed Dahlan, who tried to overthrow Hamas in 2007, could be the man to almost everyone's taste

Antony Blinken's proposal seeks a return to the past. But with a trick. In 2005, Ariel Sharon evacuated the settlers from Gaza (leaving, however, the barriers and external military control, including a captive balloon equipped with cameras, later replaced by drones) and handed over its administration to the ANP. In 2006, Hamas won the Palestinian elections (there have been no others). In 2007, Mohamed Dahlan, head of PA security in Gaza, attempted a coup d'état – allegedly with the help of Israel, the US and the United Arab Emirates, enemies of the Muslim Brotherhood, from which Hamas originates – which was destroyed by Hamas. Blood flowed and Fatah men fled. Mohamed Dahlan, to Abu Dhabi.

Since then, Dahlan has done business, many contacts, and they say he maintains the support of Emiratis, Americans, Egyptians and Israelis. She was born in Khan Yunis 62 years ago, and has tried to return by putting money on the table, even now with humanitarian aid. In recent weeks there have been rumors, and The Economist has presented a providential image of a character normally seen as scheming, who was expelled from Fatah and tried in absentia for corruption in 2016 by a Palestinian court. It is possible that Blinken was referring to it when he spoke of a “reformed” PNA to deal with Gaza. It doesn't seem like a very democratic idea, but who cares?

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