The Biden administration is reportedly considering stationing troops in Gaza if and when Israel successfully eliminates Hamas.
This idea specifically centers on leaving what Bloomberg calls a “multinational force that may involve American troops” in Gaza.
According to sources who spoke with Bloomberg, the idea is one of several that have been proposed for the future of the region.
“A second option would establish a peacekeeping force modeled on one that oversees a 1979 Egypt-Israel peace treaty, while a third would see Gaza put under temporary United Nations oversight,” Bloomberg reported Wednesday.
“The US and Israel are exploring options for the future of the Gaza Strip, including the possibility of a multinational force that may involve American troops if Israeli forces succeed in ousting Hamas, people familiar with the matter said.”https://t.co/pszqK1saEb
— Mike Lee (@BasedMikeLee) November 1, 2023
But the paper’s sources stressed that this is all very preliminary and things could change. Moreover, some unnamed Biden administration officials reportedly think these ideas are either too premature or very unlikely.
However, while testifying before a Senate panel on Tuesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken did indicate that the administration is definitely planning something.
“We can’t have a reversion to the status quo with Hamas running Gaza. We also can’t have — and the Israelis start with this proposition themselves — Israel running or controlling Gaza. Between those shoals are a variety of possible permutations that we’re looking at very closely now, as are other countries,” he said.
But on the other hand, National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson told Bloomberg later Tuesday evening that “sending US troops to Gaza as part of a peacekeeping force is not something that’s being considered or is under discussion.”
What’s clear is that something will have to be done, as Israel has made it known that Hamas ruling the Gaza Strip is no longer acceptable given the horrific terrorist attack they perpetrated on Oct. 7th.
— David Smithers (@DavidSmithers13) October 29, 2023
“A number of options have been raised for the day after Hamas. The prerequisite for all of them is that Hamas be destroyed. Once Hamas is destroyed, all the options discussed are based on the premise that Gaza be demilitarized,” Israeli foreign policy advisor Ophir Falk reportedly said.
Plus, Bloomberg notes there’s “little evidence” that the Palestinian Authority “would be willing or able to take over Gaza.”
This didn’t stop Blinken from saying Tuesday that a “revitalized” PA should take control of Gaza if Israel succeeds in routing Hamas, according to The Times of Israel.
“At some point, what would make the most sense would be for an effective and revitalized Palestinian Authority to have governance and ultimately security responsibility for Gaza,” he said.
“Whether you can get there in one step is a big question that we have to look at. And if you can’t, then there are other temporary arrangements that may involve a number of other countries in the region,” he says. “It may involve international agencies that would help provide for both security and governance,” he added.
Antony Blinken will propose the Palestinian Authority, the occupation sub-contractor that is reviled in the West Bank and has zero legitimacy, to lord over the smoldering rubble mass grave known as Gaza after Israel finishes its genocidal war.
There is zero percent chance that… pic.twitter.com/MeASzagBbg
— Dan Cohen (@dancohen3000) November 1, 2023
No matter what the option, the risks remain about the same for President Joe Biden, his administration, and America as a whole.
“Biden believes that putting even a small contingent of American troops in harm’s way could prove politically risky, according to a person familiar with his thinking, who added that the US isn’t close to making such a decision. It’s also not yet clear whether Arab states might be interested in participating,” according to Bloomberg.
“Ultimately, Biden and other US officials say that an endpoint that involves a sovereign Palestinian state is necessary, but exactly how to reach that outcome has barely featured in discussions, either public or private. And Israel says its military operation could last months, and will result in a buffer zone around Gaza,” the paper reported.
Part of the problem is that Israel’s current right-wing government is staunchly opposed to the Palestinians being granted a sovereign state.
Indeed, while running for reelection in 2015, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that a Palestinian state would never be created under his watch, as reported at the time by Reuters.
That said, the “multinational force” idea seems to be the most popular.
“Public safety and law enforcement could be directed by a consortium of the five Arab states who have reached peace agreements with Israel—Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco,” Washington Institute scholars reportedly wrote in an Oct. 17th note.
“Only those Arab states would have Israel’s confidence, which is essential for this effort to succeed,” they added.
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