If War Ends, What’s Next for the Gaza Strip?

Israeli Officials Float Post-War Scenarios

Another ceasefire is giving way to more negotiations aimed at settling the ongoing Gaza War. Yet while hope abounds for some way to end the conflict, few seem clear on what the post-war scenario might look like.

Hamas is pushing for a 10-year ceasefire with an end to the Israeli blockade of the strip, something Israel seems to be ruling out, while various Israeli officials are floating various possible post-war moves.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is calling for a new UN Mandate that would rule the Gaza Strip on behalf of the international community, saying he believes it would follow the model used in Kosovo.

Underpinning this is Lieberman’s constant demand to keep escalating the war, with a goal of wiping out Hamas outright, saying he believes the UN would then take over and everything would be fine.

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni is suggesting that the Israeli government “physically separate itself” from the Gaza Strip by creating a solid underground barrier to prevent Palestinians from being able to tunnel out.

Whether this is at all practical is unclear, but faced with criticism of their turning Gaza into the world’s largest outdoor prison, Israel may decide to double-down, converting it into the world’s largest outdoor terrarium, with 1.8 million Palestinians carefully sealed off from the rest of humanity, but easily accessible if Israel decides it wants another war.

The most likely reality, at this point, seems to be no settlement at all, with Israel simply continuing to attack Gaza until it gets sick of doing so, then taking an informal break until their inevitable next salvo.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.