Gaza’s Future: Strategies for Rebuilding Post-Israeli Conflict

The 2023 Israeli war on Gaza has sparked speculations about the future of the Gaza Strip and the Palestinians’ future. The fate of Hamas, the de facto governing authority in Gaza, is at the heart of the situation. Israel’s officials claim the goal is to “destroy” Hamas, but the action of defeating Hamas is not defined. Tal Aviv has expressed its intention to transfer Palestinians to Gaza, many of whom are already refugees. The aftermath of this military operation presents various scenarios with unique complexities and challenges.

The return of the Palestinian Authority (PA) is a non-starter due to Israel’s leverage over the PA and its diminished credibility among Palestinians under Mahmoud Abbas. The Biden administration in the US has hinted at a “revitalized” Palestinian Authority (PA) return to power in Gaza, but the practicality and acceptability of such a suggestion are questionable. The formula for “revitalization” is vague and might be influenced by foreign powers to insert an Israeli puppet at the helm of the PA.

In recent years, there have been plans to substitute Mahmoud Abbas with Mohammad Dahlan, but Dahlan denied his desire for the role, and the majority of Palestinians see Dahlan as a corrupt Israeli element. Hamas, founded in 1987, is deeply entrenched in Palestinian society and politics and is unlikely to be eradicated entirely. Its popularity has increased following Israel’s ongoing war against the Palestinians in Gaza, suggesting it continues to hold substantial influence and support within Palestinian society as a resistance force against Israeli occupation.

The involvement of Hamas in a revitalized Palestinian Authority (PA) could be more feasible if Marwan al-Barghouthi, a national liberation leader imprisoned by Israel since 2002, takes leadership roles in the PA and PA. The US and Europe must promptly recognize the Palestinian state as a free, independent, and sovereign entity. Several actors have mulled the idea of an international or Arab military presence in Gaza post-war, but Arab governments rejected this proposal. The Emiratis would condition financial and political support for the reconstruction of Gaza on the advancement of a US-backed initiative toward a two-state solution. Turkey proposed a guarantorship system, where countries from the region and beyond act as guarantors for both the Palestinians and Israelis.

Israel’s direct military occupation of Gaza has been a contentious issue, with no single country, particularly the US and European nations, willing to deter or hold it accountable. Israel’s claim in 2005 that it had ended its occupation contradicts the reality of its ongoing “effective control” over Gaza, which means occupation without boots on ground. Following the land invasion of Gaza last October, Israel indicated that it intends to have overall security control over Gaza, potentially reducing its size and population.

Israel has proposed creating a buffer zone between Gaza and Israel to prevent future attacks, but this has failed due to resistance. The Palestinian National Initiative Movement (PNI) Secretary General, Mustafa Barghouthi, argues that Netanyahu’s goal is to ethnically cleanse people and have military control of Gaza without people. Sustainable peace depends on holding Israel accountable for its crimes against humanity, preventing impunity provided by the US and some European countries, and subjecting Tel Aviv to international law. If the current Israeli war against the Palestinians does not result in a free, sovereign, and independent Palestinian State, it is crucial to prepare for the worse.

GazaGaza's Future: Strategies for Rebuilding Post-Israeli ConflictHamasIsraelIsraeli ConflictPalestinian Authority (PA)