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Israel informs Arab states it wants buffer zone in post-war Gaza

Published : Sunday, 3 December, 2023 at 12:00 AM  Count : 326

CAIRO, Dec 2: Israel has informed several Arab states that it wants to carve out a buffer zone on the Palestinian side of Gaza's border to prevent future attacks as part of proposals for the enclave after war ends, Egyptian and regional sources said.

According to three regional sources, Israel related its plans to its neighbours Egypt and Jordan, along with the United Arab Emirates, which normalised ties with Israel in 2020.

They also said that Saudi Arabia, which does not have ties with Israel and which halted a US-mediated normalisation process after the Gaza war flared on Oct 7, had been informed.

The sources did not say how the information reached Riyadh, which officially does not have direct communication channels with Israel. Non-Arab Turkey was also told, the sources said.

The initiative does not indicate an imminent end to Israel's offensive - which resumed on Friday after a seven-day truce - but it shows Israel is reaching out beyond established Arab mediators, such as Egypt or Qatar, as it seeks to shape a post-war Gaza.

No Arab states have shown any willingness to police or administer Gaza in future and most have roundly condemned Israel's offensive that has killed more than 15,000 people and levelled swathes of Gaza's urban areas.

Hamas killed 1,200 people in its Oct 7 raid and took more than 200 hostages.    �REUTERS

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