Israel-Hamas war: Netanyahu unveils plan for postwar Gaza

Israel would maintain security control of Gaza under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's postwar plan. The Palestinian Authority has criticized the proposal

Netanyahu's plan foresees the Israeli military retaining security control over Gaza after the war with Hamas ends (photo: DW)
Netanyahu's plan foresees the Israeli military retaining security control over Gaza after the war with Hamas ends (photo: DW)


UN rights chief slams 'entrenched impunity' in Israel-Hamas war

The United Nations Human Rights Office has said that gross human rights violations are being committed by all parties in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

In its annual report, covering the 12 months to October 31, 2023, the agency said clear violations of international humanitarian law, "including possible war crimes, have been committed by all parties" since the start of the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.

The report cited unlawful killings, hostage-taking, the wanton destruction of civilian property, collective punishment, strikes on civilian infrastructure, forced displacement, incitement to hatred and violence, sexual assault and torture.

Volker Türk, the UN body's chief, condemned "entrenched impunity" and demanded accountability for the perpetrators' actions.

"The entrenched impunity reported by our office for decades cannot be permitted to continue," he said.

"There must be accountability on all sides for violations seen over 56 years of [Israeli] occupation and the 16 years of blockade of Gaza."

UN experts call for arms embargo against Israel

Experts from the United Nations have called on the international community to immediately stop all exports of weapons and ammunition to Israel.

They said any transfer of arms that would be used in Gaza "is likely to violate international humanitarian law" and "must cease immediately."

"The need for an arms embargo on Israel is heightened by the International Court of Justice's ruling on 26 January 2024 that there is a plausible risk of genocide in Gaza and the continuing serious harm to civilians since then," the experts, who included over 30 UN special rapporteurs, declared in a statement distributed by the UN Human Rights Office in Geneva.

The statement pointed to the suspension of arms transfers to Israel by Belgium, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and the Japanese company Itochu Corporation.

The US and Germany are by far the biggest exporters of weapons to Israel. And arms shipments to the country have increased since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, which was sparked by a deadly Hamas attack on southern Israel on October 7.

Israeli spy chief heads to Paris for Gaza cease-fire talks: media

An Israeli delegation led by the head of the country's overseas intelligence agency is heading to Paris for talks to make progress toward achieving a cease-fire in Gaza, Israeli media reported.

David Barnea and Ronen Bar, directors of the Israeli intelligence agencies Mossad and Shin Bet, respectively, will take part in the talks, they added.

Barnea also took part at a previous meeting in Paris in late January.

At the time, he held talks with his US and Egyptian counterparts as well as the prime minister of Qatar over a Gaza cease-fire as well as hostage exchange.

Israeli drone attack kills suspected militant in Jenin

Israel said Friday it had launched a drone strike to foil a terrorist attack in the West Bank city of Jenin.

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said a member of the militant outfit Islamic Jihad, Yasser Hanoun, was eliminated in the strike.

Hanoun was on his way to carry out an attack, the IDF said, adding that he had been involved in several attacks on Israeli communities and military posts in recent months.

Violence has escalated in the West Bank since the start of the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, triggered by a deadly Hamas attack on southern Israel on October 7.

Hamas leader leaves Egypt after cease-fire talks

Hamas said its political leader, Ismail Haniyeh, has left Egypt after holding talks with Egyptian officials.

The negotiations revolved around a possible cease-fire in Gaza as well as an exchange of hostages held by the militants for Palestinians jailed in Israel.

The statement released after the talks did not say whether the discussions led to any breakthrough.

The talks in Cairo came ahead of a high-level meeting expected over the weekend in Paris, where international mediators will present a new proposal.

Hamas is designated as terrorist outfit by the US, the EU, Germany and a number of other countries.

Netanyahu presents plan for postwar Gaza

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has proposed a plan for postwar Gaza, which foresees the Israeli military retaining security control over the coastal Palestinian enclave after the war with Hamas ends.

While the proposal envisions local officials without links to Hamas or its foreign backers governing the territory, it also allows for Israel to play a role in civilian affairs there.

The Palestinian Authority (PA), which governs parts of the West Bank jointly with Israel, has criticized the proposal, saying it means "reoccupying the Gaza strip and obstructing American and international efforts to establish the Palestinian State."

"Netanyahu's plan serves his interest in prolonging the war to stay in power," PA wrote in a post on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

The plan marks the first time Netanyahu has presented a formal postwar vision for Gaza. It has been submitted to the Israeli Cabinet for approval.

Netanyahu's insistence on an open-ended Israeli role in running Gaza runs counter to the two-state solution supported by the US and others in the international community.

The US wants a revitalized Palestinian autonomous government to eventually govern both Gaza and the Israeli-occupied West Bank as a precursor to statehood.

Netanyahu has explicitly ruled out any sovereign Palestinian state.

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Published: 24 Feb 2024, 11:59 AM