Plans for Gaza’s ‘Day After’ Seem Ever Distant

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As the war in Gaza grinds on, there is increasing talk of some “day after” formula for the broken territory. But that notion is an ephemeral one — there is not going to be a bright line between war and peace in Gaza, even if some sort of negotiated settlement is reached.

Israel has made it clear that it will not subcontract security along its southern border to anyone else, and Israeli military officials say their forces will come in and out of Gaza based on intelligence for a very long time to come, even after troops finally withdraw.

“The whole conceit of ‘the day after’ has to be retired,” said Aaron David Miller, a former U.S. official at the Carnegie Endowment. “It’s misleading and dangerous,” he said, because there will be no clear dividing line “between the end of Israeli military operations and a relative stability that allows people to focus on reconstruction.”

There are a variety of sketchy ideas — “plans” would be too specific a word — for what happens in the aftermath of hostilities. But there is a growing understanding that any sustainable settlement would require a regional deal involving countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Qatar.

Inevitably such a deal would have to be led by the United States, Israel’s most trusted ally. Most officials and analysts assume it would require new governments both in Israel and the Palestinian Authority, which partially governs the West Bank but is considered stale and corrupt, an indication of the long road ahead.

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Plans for Gaza’s ‘Day After’ Seem Ever Distant

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