IDF ground operation in Gaza
IDF ground operation in GazaIDF Spokesperson's Unit

The US and Israel are exploring options for the future of the Gaza Strip, including the possibility of a multinational force that may involve American troops if Israeli forces succeed in ousting Hamas, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

A second option would establish a peacekeeping force modeled on one that oversees a 1979 Egypt-Israel peace treaty, while a third would see Gaza put under temporary United Nations oversight, according to the report.

The sources, who asked not to be identified, underscored that the conversations are still at an early stage and much could change.

While US officials consider the options premature or unlikely, noted Bloomberg, Secretary of State Antony Blinken alluded to the challenge on Tuesday when he told a Senate panel that the US is examining a range of options for the future of Gaza.

The White House and the State Department declined to comment on the plans.

Bloomberg noted that all three options hold political peril for President Joe Biden and for other nations, including Gulf States, as well as for Israel.

Biden believes that putting even a small contingent of American troops in harm’s way could prove politically risky, according to a person familiar with his thinking, who added that the US isn’t close to making such a decision. It’s also not yet clear whether Arab states might be interested in participating, another person said.