By José Carlos Palma*
As the echoes of explosions and gunfire subside, the critical question of who will govern Gaza in the aftermath of the war looms large. With options limited, the Palestinian Authority (PA) emerges as a potential candidate, despite its own set of challenges. In this analysis, we explore the complexities surrounding Gaza’s governance and delve into potential strategies for revitalizing the PA to play a central role in the region’s stability.
- Hamas Dilemma:
- Hamas, a prominent Palestinian organization, is not an acceptable option for Israel due to security concerns. Israel remains determined not to let Hamas rebuild its military capabilities, posing a significant obstacle to the group’s governance in Gaza.
- Israeli Occupation Concerns:
- Israel, reluctant to assume direct control over Gaza, is wary of ruling over two million hostile Palestinians. Such an occupation could lead to a protracted low-level insurgency and further tarnish Israel’s international standing.
- International Force Rejection:
- Proposals for an international force, primarily composed of troops from Arab states, have been deemed a nonstarter by potential Arab participants due to political sensitivities.
The Palestinian Authority as a Complicated Solution:
- Corruption and Legitimacy Issues:
- The PA, currently governing parts of the West Bank, suffers from corruption, governance issues, and perceived complicity with Israel, diminishing its legitimacy among Palestinians.
- Security Force Challenges:
- PA security forces, integral to maintaining stability, face challenges in the West Bank, where their effectiveness is dwindling. The PA’s ability to control Hamas and suppress violence is diminishing, signaling potential difficulties in Gaza.
- Israeli Skepticism:
- Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, express skepticism about the PA’s ability to solve Gaza’s problems. Netanyahu referred to such expectations as a “pipe dream.”
Revitalizing the PA for Postwar Rule:
- Short-Term Measures:
- Identify credible technocrats associated with the PA to govern Gaza temporarily.
- Collaborate with Arab countries to train additional PA security forces.
- Begin reactivating and retraining PA security forces within Gaza.
- Medium-Term Initiatives:
- Leverage influence to encourage the retirement of current PA leaders and facilitate the emergence of a new generation of leaders.
- Strengthen the PA’s governance in the West Bank to enhance credibility and effectiveness.
- Challenges in Gaining Israeli Support:
- Persuading Israeli leaders to support the PA in Gaza is challenging due to skepticism and concerns about terrorism support.
- Addressing issues such as settlements, settler violence, and Palestinian autonomy can contribute to building PA credibility.
In the complex landscape of postwar Gaza, the Palestinian Authority emerges as a pragmatic choice for governance. Strengthening the PA and addressing its internal challenges, corruption issues, and security force effectiveness is imperative for long-term stability. Initiatives to bring in credible technocrats and support a leadership transition within the PA will be crucial steps toward a sustainable and credible governance structure in the region. As the conflict continues, proactive measures taken now can pave the way for a more stable and secure future in Gaza.
* Expert in international relations, such as foreign policy, international trade, domestic security, international security, developing nations, domestic security, intelligence, IT Consultant, world history, political consultant, and military analysis.