Netanyahu's post-war plan sees Israel keeping security control over Palestinian areas


JERUSALEM, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has presented his first official "day after" plan for the Gaza Strip once the war ends, saying Israel will keep security control over Palestinian areas and make reconstruction dependent on demilitarisation.
The plan, which brings together a range of well-established Israeli positions, underlines Netanyahu's resistance to the creation of a Palestinian state which he sees as a security threat, without explicitly ruling one out at some future stage.
It was swiftly dismissed by Palestinian officials as doomed to failure.
The document, distributed to security cabinet members as a discussion paper rather than a set programme, proposes Israel would maintain security control over all land west of Jordan, including the occupied West Bank and Gaza - territories where the Palestinians hope to establish an independent state.
The plan comes amid intensifying international calls to end the fighting that has destroyed large swathes of Gaza and to revive efforts to establish a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
U.S. President Joe Biden, Israel's main ally, has said that only a two-state solution has a chance of bringing long-term peace and has been engaged in intense diplomatic efforts to build support among regional and other states.
Hours after it was revealed, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Israel's expansion of settlements in the occupied West Bank was inconsistent with international law, signalling a return to long-standing U.S. policy on the issue, which had been reversed by the previous administration of Donald Trump
In the long-term goals listed, Netanyahu rejects the "unilateral recognition" of a Palestinian state. He says a settlement with the Palestinians will only be achieved through direct negotiations between the two sides - without naming who the Palestinian party would be.
In Gaza, it proposes replacing Hamas administrative control with local representatives "who are not affiliated with terrorist countries or groups and are not financially supported by them", setting demilitarisation and deradicalisation as goals to be achieved in the medium term.


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