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The potential role of Turkey in the Palestinian issue

What could happen in a potential post-war scenario for the Gaza Strip, involving a possible agreement between Israel and Turkey? In this scenario, Turkey, with a broad international mandate and the involvement of other nations, could assume the administration of the Gaza Strip. This Turkish role would aim to ensure security at the Israeli borders while simultaneously offering peace and reconstruction to the Palestinian population.

Although this hypothesis has not been officially presented in the political and diplomatic debate, it could already be the subject of confidential negotiations and could represent an acceptable solution for both Palestinians and Israelis, offering the international community a way out of the crisis.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already expressed the intention to create a security strip along the Israeli border, maintaining military control of an area within the borders of Gaza. Netanyahu opposes the return of Gaza under Palestinian authority, does not want a UN-led international force, and does not intend to reoccupy the Strip, as happened until 2005.

For its part, Turkey, although it has had differences with Israel, continues to dialogue with Jerusalem and could aspire to a role of major mediator. Ankara could propose sending a security force to Gaza, possibly also composed of contingents from other nations, with potential support from the Arab League and the international community.

This role of Turkey could be seen as a “historical return,” considering the past Ottoman control over the territories. Moreover, it would allow Turkey to expand its political and diplomatic influence in the region, following the example of other interventions like in Libya and Syria.

The Turkish presence in Gaza could guarantee a friendly management for the Palestinians and give assurances to Israel regarding the non-transformation of the Strip into a source of threats. Furthermore, Turkey could aim to strengthen its role in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, securing access to the region’s energy resources and participating in the post-war reconstruction of Gaza.

The tensions between Jerusalem and Ankara, as well as those between Israel and Qatar, could be overcome by an agreement of this kind. Even Egypt, which in the past had tense relations with Turkey, seems to have resumed collaboration with Ankara, facilitating the possibility of an agreement.

A Turkish-Israeli agreement could obtain the support of Russia and China, which have not condemned Hamas as a terrorist movement and could have a role as mediators. This agreement could also be welcomed by the United States, despite the criticism received from Washington for its approach to the crisis.

In this complex geopolitical context, a significant role for Turkey in the Gaza Strip could represent a significant turning point. Turkey could act as a mediator between Israel and the Palestinians, offering a pragmatic and stabilizing solution to the region.

Turkey, with its historical past in the Ottoman Empire that included Gaza, could be perceived as a less invasive and more acceptable actor compared to other external powers. This Turkish role could help to alleviate tensions in the region and create a more favorable environment for peace and reconstruction.

Moreover, Turkey could assume a supervisory role over the security of the Gaza borders, offering both Israel and the Palestinians security guarantees. This could reduce the risk of future conflicts and increase the stability of the region.

The economic perspective also plays a significant role in this scenario. Turkey could benefit from access to Mediterranean energy resources and the opportunity to participate in the reconstruction of Gaza, thus strengthening its economic and political influence in the region.

The proposal for a Turkish role in Gaza could also be seen as a means to reduce the influence of other regional actors like Iran, which has supported groups like Hamas. The Turkish presence could act as a counterbalance to Iranian influence, offering a more favorable balance of power for Israel and the United States.

This scenario could also pave the way for new alliances and geopolitical configurations in the Middle East. The collaboration between Turkey, Israel, and possibly other regional actors could redraw the political landscape of the region, offering new opportunities for diplomacy and cooperation.

However, an agreement of this kind would also face considerable challenges and complications. For Turkey, taking on the role of administrator or security guarantor in Gaza would not be a simple task. It would require a delicate balance between Israel’s security needs and the rights and aspirations of the Palestinians. Ankara would need to act carefully to avoid being seen as partisan or as a substitute for Israeli occupation.

The proposal might also encounter resistance from both Hamas and other Palestinian factions, especially if perceived as a compromise on their sovereignty or as an unwanted external intervention. Turkish public opinion might also have contrasting views on taking on such a responsibility, especially if it entailed a significant military or financial commitment.

Moreover, the realization of such an agreement would require the support and cooperation of multiple international actors. Russia and China, as mentioned, might view a Turkish involvement in Gaza favorably, but the United States and European countries would also have a crucial role in discussions and negotiations. Their reaction and the level of support or opposition could greatly influence the effectiveness of such an agreement.

Additionally, the situation in the Gaza Strip is extremely fluid and subject to rapid changes. Any agreement would need to be sufficiently flexible to adapt to these changing dynamics while ensuring long-term stability and security.

In conclusion, the hypothesis of a Turkish role in the post-war management of the Gaza Strip presents both potential advantages and significant challenges. While it could offer a new perspective for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a cautious, considered, and collaborative approach would be necessary to ensure that such an agreement is sustainable and acceptable to all parties involved.

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