Netanyahu Proposes Post-War Plan
On Thursday, February 22, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shared a two-page post-war plan with his security cabinet. According to this proposal, Israel would control security in Gaza indefinitely, and Palestinians with “no links to groups hostile to Israel would run the territory.” The West Bank’s Palestinian Authority (PA), who the United States wants to govern a post-war Gaza, was not mentioned in the document.
The plan referenced potential "de-radicalisation" programs and suggested the existence of a "Southern Closure" between Gaza and Egypt to prevent smuggling.
Middle East Policy covers an article by Fadi Nahhas that explores Israel’s interest in expanding control over the Occupied Territories, specifically in the Jordan Valley.
Israel-Hamas Ceasefire Negotiations
On Friday, February 23, mediators met in Paris to negotiate a potential Israel-Hamas ceasefire. According to Egyptian officials familiar with the talks, Hamas is no longer demanding an immediate Israeli withdrawal from Gaza or an immediate truce. The group also lowered the number of Palestinian prisoners it would like released from Israel in exchange for some of the 134 remaining Israeli hostages in Gaza.
The potential deal, which is tentatively set to begin before the start of Ramadan around March 10, is expected to feature three phases, starting with a six-week truce.
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has maintained that an Israeli offensive in Rafah, home to more than 1.4 million Palestinians currently seeking safety, would only be “delayed somewhat” if a temporary ceasefire were adopted.
Middle East Policy’s special issue on Gaza features interviews with key players and contributions that explore the sparks fueling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
U.S., UK Strike Locations in Yemen
On Saturday, February 24, U.S. and UK forces hit 18 targets, including weapons- and missile-storage facilities as well as drones and air-defense systems, in eight Houthi-controlled locations in Yemen. The Houthis reported a civilian death in the aftermath of these operations.
According to the U.S. military, a February 18 Houthi attack on the Rubymar, a British-registered, Lebanese-operated cargo vessel, has caused an 18-mile oil slick. The vessel was transporting more than 41,000 tons of fertilizer, which has also prompted warnings of environmental danger.
A Middle East Policy article shows how the use of American drone strikes has exacerbated anti-US and anti-Israel sentiment in Yemen.
Qatar Announces Expansion of Gas Output
On Sunday, February 25, Qatar’s Energy Minister and CEO of QatarEnergy Saad Sherida al-Kaabi announced plans to expand output from its North Field, “the world’s biggest natural gas field, saying it will boost capacity to 142 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) before 2030.” Recent studies indicate that the North Field contains additional gas quantities at approximately 240 trillion cubic feet.
Coinciding with a recent drop in global natural gas prices, this decision has been analyzed as “a long-term bet on rising demand for the less polluting fuel in Europe and Asia.”
Middle East Policy examines Qatar’s role in diplomacy between Israel and Hamas as concerns about Doha’s relationship with the militant group begin to grow.
Also Check Out
Middle East Policy has published its Winter 2023 issue, with topics ranging from power struggles between militant groups to Turkey’s balancing act between East and West to regional-power rivalries in the Gulf.
The U.S. calls on Israel to stop targeting Palestinian police delivering aid to Gaza
Reversing policy, the U.S. now says new Israeli settlements are ‘inconsistent’ with international law
Tunisian opposition figure sentenced to prison for election criticism
(Banner image: Palestinian News & Information Agency (Wafa))