Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi rejected a US proposal for Egypt to manage security in the Gaza Strip after the war is over, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.
Egyptian officials told the newspaper that Al-Sisi rejected the idea during a meeting with CIA Director William Burns in Cairo. The plan would have Egypt handle Gaza until the Palestinian Authority can take over after Hamas’ defeat.
Sisi and the head of Egyptian intelligence, Abbas Kamel, discussed the proposal with Burns, who was visiting Cairo as part of a Middle East tour to discuss the situation in Gaza.
The Egyptian President reportedly told the CIA chief said his government wouldn’t play a role in eliminating Hamas as it needs the group to help maintain security at the country’s border with the Gaza Strip.
With the war between Israel and Hamas intensifying, recent reports indicated that the US has begun discussing how Gaza would look after the war.
A recent Bloomberg report said that 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.
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.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was asked this week in an interview with ABC News who should govern Gaza when the war is over.
“Those who don’t want to continue the way of Hamas,” he replied. “I think Israel, for an indefinite period of time, will have the overall security responsibility, because we’ve seen what happens when we don’t have it. When we don’t have that security responsibility, what we have is the eruption of Hamas terror on a scale that we couldn’t imagine.”
Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer also commented on the issue in an interview with Sky News which aired on Tuesday.
To the question of who he sees governing Gaza after the war, Dermer replied, “Well, I think it'll be the Palestinians that are going to govern Gaza. Who those Palestinians will be I don't know. I know who they're not going to be: It's not going to be Hamas.”
“We're going to have to wipe out and eliminate, as I said, not only Hamas’ military infrastructure but end their rule of Gaza, and hopefully the Palestinians eventually will be able to choose a leadership that is committed to peaceful coexistence with Israel and not one that is determined to destroy Israel and that also teaches their children to live at peace with Israel and doesn't demonize Jews and demonize Israel,” he added.