Tel Aviv: Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant presented on Thursday his plan for the post-war administration of the Gaza Strip, saying that neither Hamas nor Israel would govern the Palestinian territory after hostilities there conclude.
Gallant unveiled an outline of his plan to the press before submitting it to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's war cabinet, which has been divided in recent weeks over the future of Gaza after the ouster of Hamas, which has ruled the strip since 2007.
Under the plan, Israel's war in the territory will continue until it has secured the return of the hostages taken on October 7, dismantled Hamas's "military and governing capabilities", and removed any remaining military threats.
After that, the outline says, a new phase will begin during which "Hamas will not control Gaza and will not pose a security threat to the citizens of Israel", with unspecified Palestinian bodies assuming the territory's governance.
Israel would reserve its right to operate inside the territory, the plan states, but there would be "no Israeli civilian presence in the Gaza Strip after the goals of the war have been achieved".
National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir had called on Monday for Israeli settlers to return to the territory after the war, and for a "solution to encourage the emigration" of Gaza's Palestinian population, echoing similar comments by far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich.
The calls had drawn condemnation from Arab states, as well as from key ally the United States.
"Gaza residents are Palestinian, therefore Palestinian bodies will be in charge, with the condition that there will be no hostile actions or threats against the State of Israel," Gallant's outline says, without specifying which bodies that might include.
Washington has suggested Gaza be governed by a "revitalised" Palestinian Authority, which is based in the occupied West Bank.
The unveiling of Gallant's plan comes on the eve of a visit by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is travelling to the Middle East to press for more humanitarian aid for Gaza and to stave off any regional escalation of the conflict.