US preparing for "prominent" role in postwar Gaza

    WORLD  24 May 2024 - 15:41

    The Biden administration is considering appointing a US official to serve as the top civilian adviser to a mostly Palestinian force when the Israel-Hamas conflict ends, four US officials said — a sign that the US plans to be very involved in securing a post-war Gaza.

    The civilian adviser would be based in the region and work closely with the commanding officer of the force, who would be either Palestinian or from an Arab nation, the people said.

    Washington is still debating how much official authority this adviser would have, but all officials, granted anonymity to detail very sensitive discussions, stressed it is part of a plan for the US to play a “prominent” role in lifting Gaza out of desperate chaos.

    The adviser would never enter Gaza itself, the officials said — an indication of the desire to avoid any implication that the US would be dictating the future of the territory.

    Two officials said the adviser could be based in Sinai and another said it could be Jordan. The proposal for the adviser and peacekeeping force also has been circulating in a classified administration for months.

    The current planning resembles ideas about the civilian adviser and peacekeeping force floated in a classified State Department paper obtained by POLITICO.

    In that March document, marked “SECRET” and not for the eyes of foreign officials, the State Department proposed the formation of the Temporary Security Mission for Gaza. The security mission “could be a hybrid model of police and Carabinieri/gendarmerie,” per the document, referencing the Italian law enforcement group responsible for internal security. “State recommends branding this as a security mission, not a ‘force.’”

    The officials said that such a plan is still regularly discussed and factors into current thinking about postwar Gaza.

    Caliber.Az

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