A Fight Over the ‘Day After’ in Gaza

Uncertainty remains over how Israel will proceed.

Written by Jack Elbaum

What’s happening: The debate over the “day after” in Gaza reached fever pitch last week after far-right politicians Itamar Ben Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich called for the resettlement of hundreds of thousands of Gazans in other countries, as well as the rebuilding of Israeli settlements in Gaza.

  • The response: The U.S. Department of State (link>) State Department and the European Union, condemned the proposal, while a Likud member called the plan “unrealistic” because the international community will not accept it.

  • Saving face: Israel’s president, Isaac Herzog, said, “I’m saying outright, officially and unequivocally, this is not the Israeli position.”

The official plan: The Minister of Defence of Israel, Yoav Gallant, laid out a plan placing local Palestinians who are relatively friendly toward Israel in charge of governing. It would also create an international coalition including European Union countries and Egypt to oversee the rebuilding of infrastructure and the economy in Gaza. At the same time, Israel would maintain military freedom of operation in the territory.

  • Behind the headlines: This plan was an implicit rebuke of the rogue statements made by Ben Gvir and Smotrich.

  • At the same time:The Times of Israelreports that the Israeli government is in talks with Saudi Arabia and the Congo about taking in Gazans, suggesting there is real uncertainty for postwar Gaza.

Why it matters: Israel is tasked with shaping a plan that takes into account how destructive the war has been for Gaza and with preventing terrorist entities from making the strip a stronghold ever again.