Post-war buffer zone envisioned by Israel won’t include troops on Gaza side of border — official

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

IDF troops operate in northern Gaza in this handout photo released on November 23, 2023. (IDF)
IDF troops operate in northern Gaza in this handout photo released on November 23, 2023. (IDF)

An Israeli official confirms plans for the IDF to establish a security buffer zone inside Gaza after the war but clarifies it will not include Israeli troops on the Palestinian side of the border.

“There are discussions in Israel about how we want to see Gaza when the war is over, given the October 7 attack,” an Israeli official explains in a briefing to The Times of Israel.

“The defense establishment is talking about some kind of security buffer on the Gaza side of the border so that Hamas cannot gather military capabilities close to the border and surprise Israel again,” the official continues.

“It is a security measure, not a political one. We do not intend to remain on the Gaza side of the border,” the official adds.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly shared his plan for a buffer zone with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken when the latter was in town on Thursday.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Friday that Washington opposes the idea.

“We don’t support any reduction of the geographic limits of Gaza… Gaza must remain Palestinian land, and cannot be reduced,” Kirby said during a press briefing.

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