Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant announced on Friday that Israel has included among the goals of the war is putting an end to its responsibilities towards the Gaza Strip and creating a new security reality for the Israelis.
The Gaza Strip, with an area of 362 square kilometers and a population of 2.4 million people, has been subject to an Israeli and Egyptian land, sea and air blockade since Hamas took power in 2007.
Since its withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, Israel has been responsible for providing the basic needs of Gaza, which is under a very tight siege, especially with regard to the delivery of humanitarian aid, energy, and the movement of residents through the crossings it establishes.
During a meeting at the Ministry of Defense headquarters to inform the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee of the war objectives, Gallant spoke of three phases of the ongoing military operation.
He said that the first phase is the military campaign through air strikes and subsequent maneuvers aimed at neutralizing Hamas fighters and its infrastructure.
Yoav Galant added that the second phase is described as low-intensity operations to eliminate the last pockets of resistance that will create a completely different security terrain, explaining that achieving this won’t take a day, a week, or even a month.
He continued, “The third phase includes putting an end to Israel’s responsibilities for the fate of the Gaza Strip and establishing a new security reality for the citizens of Israel”.
A source in the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs told Agence France-Presse after this meeting that Israel is considering, among the possible scenarios, “handing over the keys” of the Gaza Strip to a third party, which may be Egypt, without any guarantee that Cairo will accept this scenario, which has been postponed for decades.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al Sisi confirmed on Wednesday that he opposes the mass displacement of Palestinians from Gaza to Egypt, considering that there is a danger of displacement of Palestinians from the West Bank to Jordan, and liquidation of the Palestinian cause.
Israel unilaterally withdrew from the Gaza Strip after evacuating its settlements and removing its soldiers in 2005, however, under international law and according to the International Committee of the Red Cross, Gaza remains occupied based on the powers that Israel exercises over the Strip, especially its borders.
Egypt was imposing strict control on the Rafah border crossing, which has been completely closed since the start of the recent escalation, including to humanitarian aid.