The condemnation slows, but does not stop, Israel’s attack on Rafah

But in the bigger picture, said Gabi Siboni, a reserve colonel and member of the conservative Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security, the main problem is that the army is only concerned with dismantling the Hamas military system and not the civilian one. . Hamas’s control over the civilian sphere will be its launching pad for rebuilding its army, he said.

In his view, there is no alternative to an interim period of Israeli military rule in Gaza that could last several years.

Hayman said that while the military effort to take the city of Rafah at this pace could take another two or three weeks, the process of dismantling Hamas structures there could take much longer. “The option is to withdraw or deepen its control and try to drive Hamas underground,” he said. “You could stay there for years.”

But now, Hayman argues, the Rafah crossing could serve as a model or test case for governing Gaza. Israel, she suggested, could negotiate with Egypt, the United States and regional partners an agreement whereby the Palestinian Authority would assume at least symbolic sovereignty over the Gaza side of the crossing. It could then invite the United Arab Emirates, for example, to help create more efficient and faster border control for people and goods with American assistance and technology.

Such a cooperative international architecture, he said, “could be a test case for all of Gaza, expanding over time, to answer the morning-after question.” But she stopped and then laughed. “These are just my dreams,” she said. “Nothing is happening right now.”

Netanyahu and his far-right coalition allies have firmly rejected Palestinian Authority involvement in Gaza, he noted, and have so far rejected the possibility of a regional solution to the war. “That’s a big mistake,” Hayman said.

Raja Abdulrahim contributed with reports.

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