Gaza: Post-war scenarios

After the recognition of the State of Palestine by two of its members, the European Union (EU) seeks, despite its divisions, to secure a place in the post-war between Israel and the Palestinians. The EU says it is in favor of a two-state solution, with an Israeli and a Palestinian living side by side, to ensure lasting peace in a region torn by a conflict that has lasted for more than 70 years. The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, declared on Sunday May 26, while receiving Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Mustafa in Brussels, that only a “strong” Palestinian Authority was able to guarantee peace. Borrell called on the Palestinians to undertake the necessary reforms, including in terms of strengthening the rule of law, and called on Israel to put an end to the expansion of its settlements, contrary to international law. “The Palestinian cause has become increasingly complex. No one is going to accept Hamas returning to Gaza and ruling the enclave again. Reconciliation between the Palestinians has repeatedly failed. Around ten reconciliation agreements were signed, none of them saw the light of day. The Israeli government is divided over ending the war. Great confusion hangs over the situation in Gaza. For their part, the Europeans started talking about the post-war period even before a ceasefire agreement was implemented,” analyzes Dr Mona Soliman, professor of political science at Cairo University. And added: “The Arab-European Conference invited the Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs to send a clear message to Hamas that there is no question of the movement returning to Gaza again. The joint Arab-European committee prepares the Palestinian Authority to rule Gaza after the end of the war, donor countries and NGOs will help rebuild Gaza, but after Hamas leaves.

Step up efforts to end the war

EU foreign ministers met again with their counterparts from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan, as well as the secretary general of the Arab League.

The Arab ministerial group had been tasked by the Extraordinary Joint Arab-Islamic Summit in Riyadh with finding ways to end the war in Gaza. An Arab-European meeting was held in Saudi Arabia on April 29, but without concrete decisions. A second meeting took place in the Belgian capital last Sunday and Monday, again to discuss the war in Gaza. It was agreed to intensify international efforts aimed at an immediate and complete ceasefire in Gaza, ensuring the protection of civilians and the provision of adequate and sustainable humanitarian assistance in the Gaza Strip.

The Joint Arab Ministerial Committee was formed after the Riyadh Summit in November 2023, a month after the outbreak of the Gaza war, with the aim of stopping the war and finding a solution to the Palestinian cause. The EU has decided to work with the Arab committee to try to restore peace in the Palestinian enclave.

The EU and the Arab Ministerial Committee also discussed plans for the future of Gaza and the rest of the Palestinian territories. “The Gaza Strip became, after the war, a worrying but essential subject. Several questions remain unanswered, namely who will govern the band and who will be responsible for its security and reconstruction,” says Dr. Mona Soliman. And to explain that Hamas is not going to give in and leave the Gaza Strip easily. “The Arab countries must exert strong pressure on Hamas, it can transform into a political party, but there is no question of it remaining a movement.”

Pressure will also increase on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to present a clear plan for the post-war period. His government wants to maintain Israeli security control, establish an American, European, Arab and Palestinian administration that will manage civil affairs in the Gaza Strip and lay the foundations for a future alternative away from Hamas and the president of the Palestinian Authority. , Mahmoud Abbas, concludes Mona Soliman.

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