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Israel discussing ideas for post-war buffer zone in Gaza

Jerusalem has informed Arab neighbors and the U.S. of its plan for a security area along the border.

IDF tanks at a staging area near the Gaza Strip, Nov. 30, 2023. Photo by Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90.
IDF tanks at a staging area near the Gaza Strip, Nov. 30, 2023. Photo by Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90.

Israel has informed Arab countries in the region and the United States that it intends to establish a post-war buffer zone on the Gaza side of the border.

“Israel wants this buffer zone between Gaza and Israel from the north to the south to prevent any Hamas or other terrorists from infiltrating or attacking Israel,” a senior regional security official told Reuters over the weekend.

Thousands of Hamas terrorists stormed the security fence on Oct. 7, rampaging across the northwestern Negev, murdering approximately 1,200 people, wounding more than 5,000 others and taking over 200 hostages back to Gaza. Jerusalem’s war goals are to free all of the captives, destroy Hamas and ensure that Gaza never again becomes a threat to Israel.

The buffer zone will not include IDF troops in the Gaza Strip, an Israeli official confirmed to Reuters.

Israel relayed the buffer zone plans to Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, three regional sources told the news agency. Saudi Arabia and Turkey were also informed, according to the sources.

Abu Dhabi did not directly address the proposal, saying in response to a Reuters inquiry that “the UAE will support any future post-war arrangements agreed upon by all the concerned parties.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly told U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Jerusalem on Thursday that the Israel Defense Forces will establish a buffer zone “deep” into Gaza after the war.

However, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said on Friday that Washington opposes “any reduction of the geographic limits of Gaza,” saying that the Strip “must remain Palestinian land.”

Ophir Falk, foreign policy adviser to Netanyahu, told Reuters that the plan is “based on a three-tier process for the day after Hamas” that includes destroying the terrorist group, demilitarizing Gaza, and deradicalizing the population.

“A buffer zone may be part of the demilitarization process,” Falk said.

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