Bloomberg: US and Israel Are Discussing Options for Controlling Gaza

Wednesday, 1 November 2023

The US and Israel are exploring several options for the future of Gaza after Israeli forces succeed in ousting Hamas. 

As Bloomberg reported, these talks are prompted by the need to urgently develop a plan for the future of Gaza, as the ground invasion of Israeli forces has begun. 

One option being discussed includes the possibility of creating a multinational force that could include US troops.

The second option envisages the creation of a peacekeeping force modelled on those overseeing the implementation of the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. 

The third option involves temporary supervision of Gaza by the United Nations.

Sources of the agency, who asked not to be named, emphasised that the negotiations are still at the early stage and a lot can change. 

All options are politically dangerous for President Joe Biden and other countries, including the Gulf states. Biden believes that putting even a small contingent of U.S. troops at risk could prove politically risky, as a person familiar with his thought process said. The US is not close to making such a decision, the source added. 

In addition, it is not yet clear whether Arab countries may be interested in participating, another person said.

As people familiar with the matter say, one possible option would be to give temporary control of Gaza to countries in the region with the support of US, British, German and French forces. 

Some US officials see these options as premature or unlikely. Secretary of State Antony Blinken hinted at the issue at a Senate hearing on Tuesday, saying the US was considering a number of options for the future of Gaza. 

"We cannot allow a return to the status quo when Gaza is ruled by Hamas," said Blinken, who plans a visit to Israel on Friday. 

"We also cannot allow – and the Israelis themselves are starting with this proposal – that Israel governs or controls Gaza. There are many possible permutations between these two points, which we are now looking at very carefully, as are other countries," he said. 

Israeli officials have repeatedly said they have no intention of occupying Gaza, but they have also said continued Hamas’ rule is unacceptable after the 7 October attack.

The day before, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg emphasised the importance of preventing the war between the Hamas group and Israel from turning into a "major regional conflict".

Jake Sullivan, the US Presidential National Security Adviser, also said that the United States sees an "increased risk" of the conflict spreading in the Middle East.

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