One happy day, the Israel-Gaza war will be over. Israel will retain the right to “go into Gaza” if trouble arises. This situation is similar to the current situation in the West Bank. That right and the possibility of a minor or a major Israeli incursion will discourage the militaries of other countries from acting as an occupying military force.
The war will end, but who will have civilian and military control? Let us consider the alternatives.
- Israel will retain a permanent military presence in Gaza. This solution is unlikely since it will be costly in terms of soldier deaths and money. Gazans would absolutely reject this.
- Israel will deport or encourage most Gazans to leave and resettle Gaza with Israelis. The mass deaths, the reluctance of most Israeli politicians outside of extremists, and the International Court of Justice case at the Hague preclude this possibility.
- NATO troops have been suggested. Considering the problems with Russia and Ukraine and the possibility of a Trump presidency with his stated objective of withdrawing from NATO, this is not even remotely feasible. What applies to NATO as a whole applies with greater force to each country, e.g., the USA, Germany, France, the UK, or any combination of these countries.
- Troops from Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, or some combination of Arab states. They have made it clear that they will only participate if there are concrete steps towards the establishment of a Palestinian state. Netanyahu will never do this; it is dubious that another Israeli leader will agree.
- Russians, Chinese, or other nations. Russia is at war. China will not want that role. It seems unlikely that another major country would volunteer its troops.
- A UN peacekeeping force. This force would have to actively mix with the Gazan population. It is difficult to see how this could be set up and which countries might volunteer their militaries. Some previous options have stated the reasons for this reluctance.
- Hamas is out of the question simply because of an absolute Israeli refusal to ever countenance this.
- The Palestinian Authority or another non-Hamas Palestinian administration will constitute the civilian control. This entity will probably have to supply its own military since Arab countries are unlikely to participate beyond supplying military equipment. Netanyahu has specifically refused a role for the Palestinian Authority.
Some of the above options are unattainable; most are very unlikely. Option 8 seems to be the most likely. But by the Fall of 2024, the war will be over. Then, an international agreement will implement an administration similar to one of the eight options listed above