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Gaza tribal leader: 'We will not be substitute' for Hamas or Fatah in Strip

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Akef al-Masry, head of the Supreme Authority for Palestinian Tribes in the Gaza Strip, speaks about the history of Gaza's clans and the desire for national unity.
Akef al-Masry Commissioner-General of the Supreme Authority for Palestinian Tribes in the Gaza Strip during a press conference in Cairo in July 2017.

CAIRO — As the Israel-Hamas war passed the six-month mark this month, the world's attention is on the postwar governance of the Gaza Strip amid growing concerns over the humanitarian situation in the enclave, especially in the northern areas that have been cut off for months.

As postwar governance plans gain momentum, the enclave’s tribal leaders have been placed at the center of proposals made by the Israeli government. 

In February, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proposed a loose plan for postwar Gaza in which “local officials that are not affiliated with terrorist countries or groups and are not financially supported by them” would run the enclave’s civilian affairs, with Israel maintaining full security control.

Israeli news outlets reported at the time that the Israeli security establishment proposed a plan that would give a governmental role to Palestinian clans in the Gaza Strip. However, tribal leaders in Gaza appear to have rejected the Israeli proposal, saying they do not want to be used in an ad hoc manner in lieu of a permanent political solution for the Palestinian territories. 

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