ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 142

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Post-war Gaza options said to include expelling Hamas members; forming Saudi-, UAE-backed body

Israel and the US are discussing the option of expelling thousands of lower-ranking members of Palestinian terror group Hamas after the current war ends in an attempt to root out Hamas from the Gaza Strip, though there has been no talk of how this would be done in practice, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The idea is similar to the deportation of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) members, including leader Yasser Arafat, from Lebanon to Tunisia.

An analyst cited in the report casts the possibility as “unrealistic” at this time, and an Israeli official acknowledges Hamas members would likely object to being expelled.

The report, citing unnamed senior Israeli and US officials, says another option, floated by the IDF, is to form a “Gaza Restoration Authority” backed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, tasked with rebuilding a Hamas-free Gaza.

“Huge” obstacles to this plan, the report says, are disagreements between Israel and the US about whether the Palestinian Authority would be part of such a solution (Jerusalem has insisted Ramallah can’t be given a governing role in the Strip), and that Riyadh and Abu Dhabi would need to endorse the solution.

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