IDF soldiers in Gaza
IDF soldiers in GazaIDF Spokesperson's Unit

Biden administration officials are in preliminary “conversations” about options for stabilizing post-war Gaza, including a proposal for the Pentagon to help fund either a multinational force or a Palestinian Arab peacekeeping team, Politico reported on Thursday.

The options being considered would not involve US troops on the ground, according to two Defense Department officials and two other US officials quoted in the report. Instead, DOD funding would go toward the needs of the security force and complement assistance from other countries.

Asked for comment, a senior administration official said, “We are working with partners on various scenarios for interim governance and security structures in Gaza once the crisis recedes. We’ve had a number of conversations with both the Israelis and our partners about key elements for the day after in Gaza when the time is right.”

According to Politico, it could be weeks or months before Washington and its partners approve any plan, especially since regional players want to see a commitment to a two-state solution before seriously engaging with the options. There are also questions about the viability of training a potential Palestinian Arab-led force in time to maintain order in Gaza, the report said.

Israel, the sources said, is reluctant to have these conversations until it defeats Hamas militarily and secures the release of hostages being held by the group.

“Israel is the long pole in the tent,” said one of the DOD officials, noting that Israel “has their hands full with other things.”

“It would be one thing if the administration and the Israeli government were aligned on the way ahead, but that is just not the case,” said the official.

As for a potential Palestinian-led peacekeeping team, it’s still unclear who would train and equip its members, which could include some of the nearly 20,000 security personnel backed by the Palestinian Authority.

Spokespeople for DOD and the Israeli government didn’t immediately return requests for comment.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stressed in the past that Israel will have to continue to control security in the Gaza Strip for as long as it takes to prevent terrorism.

He has rejected the idea that the PA will rule Gaza the day after the war, since its chairman, Mahmoud Abbas, refuses to condemn terrorist attacks against Israelis while continuing to pay salaries to terrorist murderers and their families.