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Israel wants multi-national security force in Gaza – Axios

Israel is considering establishing a multi-national military force in Gaza to take charge of local security, Axios reported on Friday, citing government sources.

  • According to the report, the idea came from Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, who voiced it during his visit to Washington earlier this week.

The proposal envisages a contingent of troops from Arab countries being deployed to Gaza for a limited transition period. The force would be charged with escorting and helping facilitate humanitarian aid deliveries and generally maintaining law and order in the enclave. They are also expected to help establish an alternative governing body in Gaza, one of the sources said.

Gallant reportedly asked Washington to support the initiative during his meetings with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and national security adviser Jake Sullivan.

  • Meanwhile, Israeli officials have also reportedly been discussing the proposal in recent weeks with representatives from at least three Arab countries, one of which is Egypt.
  • “There is progress in promoting this initiative both in terms of the willingness of the Biden administration to discuss it and in terms of the openness of Arab countries to the idea,” one of the sources said.

However, an unnamed Arab official from one of the countries reportedly involved in the talks said it is unlikely that foreign troops would be deployed to the region until the hostilities end. A US official added that the move would require an official invitation from the Palestinian Authority in Gaza and would only come in the context of a two-state solution.

  • This, the source noted, makes the initiative unlikely in the near-term due to Israel’s opposition to recognizing Palestine as a separate state.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly rejected the idea of creating a Palestinian state after the war.

He also criticized the UN Security Council resolution passed earlier this week, which demanded an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, saying that the decision undermined Israel’s efforts to free the Israelis held by Hamas.

Militants from the organization staged an incursion from Gaza into southern Israel in October, killing around 1,200 people and capturing scores of hostages. Israel has pledged to continue its military operation in the enclave until it completely eliminates Hamas strongholds.

  • According to the latest data from the Palestinian Health Ministry, more than 32,000 Palestinians have been killed since the conflict broke out.

Source: RT