How Can Diplomats Plan for Post-War in Gaza

The conflict in Gaza has long been a contentious and devastating issue, with no immediate end in sight. However, diplomats and policymakers are now beginning to focus on what happens after the fighting stops – ‘the day after’. This shift in focus towards a post-war plan could potentially pave the way for lasting peace and stability in the region.

The European Union foreign ministers are set to discuss these post-war plans in Brussels, engaging with key stakeholders from Jordan, Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and the Arab League. The urgency of these discussions is highlighted by the looming US election in November, which may close the window of opportunity for diplomatic progress.

For European nations like Norway, Spain, and Ireland, formal recognition of the state of Palestine marks a step towards reviving discussions about a two-state solution, a longstanding goal that has often been sidelined. They hope that talks about a political “day after” will lay the groundwork for a ceasefire and the release of hostages held in the conflict.

In the UK, ministers are exploring ways to support the Palestinian Authority (PA) in governing post-war Gaza, emphasizing the importance of finding partners other than Hamas for future governance. Financial and technical support are being considered, alongside calls for a clearer timeline towards establishing a Palestinian state.

Within Israel, voices like Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Benny Gantz are advocating for a transitional government in Gaza to replace Hamas rule, highlighting the need for international actors to support this process. The United States, echoing these sentiments, emphasizes the importance of a clear plan for Gaza’s governance and development post-conflict.

There are also discussions about the role of Arab states in ensuring security in Gaza, with calls for a comprehensive political process to accompany any post-war efforts. The involvement of countries like Egypt, Jordan, and the UAE hinges on the recognition of Palestine, progress towards a two-state solution, and approval from Palestinian leadership.

As these conversations progress, the reluctance of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to engage in post-war planning remains a significant obstacle. Netanyahu’s refusal to consider the Palestinian Authority’s role and his preference for long-term Israeli occupation complicates efforts towards a sustainable resolution.

Despite the challenges and uncertainties ahead, the focus on ‘the day after’ represents a crucial shift towards proactive diplomacy and envisioning a peaceful future for Gaza. The international community must continue to push for constructive dialogue, clear planning, and inclusive governance to ensure lasting peace and stability in the region.