Israel Has No Plans to Allow Gaza to Self-Rule

( – A militant Sunni-Islamist political group called Hamas mounted an invasion from the Gaza Strip into neighboring Israeli territory on October 6, killing thousands and taking an untold number of hostages. Israel hasn’t seriously considered allowing Palestinian self-rule in the Strip or West Bank since their inception, and both territories have been under Israeli military occupation since the 1960s. However, Israel’s recent declaration of war against Hamas has effectively eliminated any possibility of negotiations regarding Palestinian self-governance for the foreseeable future.

Hamas’ military wing has struggled to wage genocide on Israelis since the organization broke from the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood in the late 1980s. Its latest effort, dubbed “Operation Al-Aqsa Storm,” represents its latest push to wipe out the Jewish state.

For now, the Israelis appear to have two goals, and neither involves negotiating self-rule for Gaza. First, Israel’s military is struggling to regain control of its own territory and force Hamas militants back across the border into the Gaza Strip. Second, they intend to rescue the dozens of individuals held hostage. Presumably, some are Americans, and at least 14 have died in the conflict.

The Gaza Strip and West Bank both fall under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian National Authority, also known as the State of Palestine. However, Hamas has governed the Gaza Strip since it rose to power after defeating its rival, Fatah, during its last elections in 2006.

However, at its core, the operation also represents an escalation of tensions between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. Experts speculate that aside from terrorizing and demoralizing Israel by kidnapping dozens of its citizens, the terrorist group hopes to eventually trade them for hundreds — if not thousands — of Palestinians currently in Israeli custody.

The Palestinian Authority has not secured the release of many of its nationals in recent years. If Hamas manages to accomplish that goal, it could give the group more power within both Palestinian-held territories.

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