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Gaza needs integration, not isolation, after Israel-Hamas war

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Gaza rubble

Biden: No return to status quo

Last week, Israel's Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said that Israel plans to sever all ties with the Gaza Strip after the war.

On the one hand, we probably shouldn’t put much stock in post-war planning, given that the preoccupation is now on the war itself. Plans can and will change. Israeli plans for the ground war have been revised, following consultation with US military officials, and delayed, both to allow US forces to position in the region, and to provide more for time for negotiations for the release of hostages, as Ben Caspit reports today. 

As we go to press, Israel has expanded military ground operations in Gaza as the United States and other countries renewed appeals to hold off on ground operations.

But it's still worth focusing on the day after, and there needs to be a plan. Isolating Gaza is the wrong approach. Gaza has mostly been a prison for its 2.3 million mainly impoverished residents since Israel’s unilateral disengagement in 2005, and especially after Hamas’ election two years later. Israel allows thousands of Gazans to cross the border for work, but it is not enough to break out of the endemic hardship. The Egyptian border offers no respite. Two years ago, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres declared Gaza as "hell on earth" for the Palestinian children there. That was before the Israeli military actions that have so far killed over 7,000 Palestinians and leveled buildings and infrastructure throughout the enclave, in retaliation for the murders of 1,400 Israelis by Hamas on Oct. 7. 

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