Lazy eyes listen
According to Bloomberg, US and Israeli officials are considering an international peacekeeping force for Gaza if Israel successfully removes Hamas from power. American troops could be included in the deployment.
As Israel intensifies its ground assault, the two countries have been “exploring options” for the future of the Palestinian enclave, including several different peacekeeping arrangements, according to officials familiar with the discussions, who spoke to Reuters on Tuesday.
“One option would be to grant temporary oversight to countries in the region, backed by troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and France.” “Ideally, Arab nations such as Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates would be represented,” Bloomberg reported.
While the officials stressed that the conversations are still in an early stage, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken hinted at the issue in recent comments to lawmakers, suggesting Washington is deeply involved in the planning.
“We cannot have a return to the status quo with Hamas in control of Gaza.” We also cannot have – and the Israelis begin with this proposition – Israel running or controlling Gaza,” he said at a Senate hearing on Tuesday. “Between those shoals are a variety of possible permutations that we’re looking at very closely now, as are other countries.”
Though Blinken did not elaborate, officials told Bloomberg that they also include the formation of a peacekeeping force modelled after the 1979 peace treaty between Israel and Egypt, which established the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) to monitor areas of the Sinai Peninsula. According to one official, the Israeli government believes that idea is “worthy of consideration.”
A third arrangement would grant the UN “temporary governance” of Gaza, though Israeli officials are said to be less enthusiastic about the plan, calling it “impractical.”
In announcing the ground operation in the Palestinian enclave, Defence Minister Yoav Gallant stated that Israel’s goal was to “destroy Hamas” and establish a new “security regime.” He emphasised that Israel should not be held accountable for “day-to-day life in the Gaza Strip,” implying that it would seek to delegate governance to a third party.