Home News Condemnation slows but does not stop Israeli attack on Rafah

Condemnation slows but does not stop Israeli attack on Rafah


But from a broader perspective, Gabi Siboni, a reserve colonel and researcher at the conservative Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security Studies, said the main problem is that the army is only dealing with dismantling Hamas’ military system, not the civilian system. Hamas’s control of the civilian sphere will serve as a springboard for rebuilding its military, he said.

He believes that Israel’s military rule over Gaza could last for years and that there is no other choice.

At this rate, the military operation to capture the city of Rafah might take another two to three weeks, Mr. Heyman said, but dismantling Hamas’ presence there could take longer. “The choice is to withdraw, or to tighten control and try to drive Hamas underground,” he said. “You could be there for years.”

But Mr. Heyman believes that the Rafah crossing can now serve as a model or test case for governing Gaza. He suggests that Israel could negotiate an agreement with Egypt, the United States and regional partners to give the Palestinian Authority at least symbolic sovereignty over the crossing on the Gaza side. Israel could then invite countries such as the UAE to build a more efficient and faster border inspection system for people and goods with aid and technical help from the United States.

An international cooperation structure like this, he said, “could serve as a pilot for the whole of Gaza, and over time it would be expanded to answer future questions.” But he paused, then laughed. “These are just my dreams,” he said. “Nothing is happening right now.”

He noted that Netanyahu and his far-right coalition allies are adamantly opposed to Palestinian Authority involvement in Gaza and have so far rejected the possibility of a regional solution to the war. “That’s a huge mistake,” Heymann said.

Raja Abdul Rahim Contributed reporting.

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