The condemnation slows, but does not stop, Israel's assault on Rafah

But in the bigger picture, said Gabi Siboni, a reserve colonel and fellow at the conservative-leaning Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security, the main problem is that the army is only concerned with dismantling the Hamas military system and not of the civil one. Hamas's control over the civilian sphere will be the springboard for rebuilding its army, he said.

In his view, there is no alternative to a transitional period of Israeli military rule in Gaza that could last several years.

Hayman said that while the military effort to capture the city of Rafah at this pace could last another two to three weeks, the process of dismantling Hamas facilities could take much longer. “The choice is between withdrawing or strengthening control and trying to hide Hamas,” she said. “You could stay there for years.”

But now, Hayman argues, the Rafah crossing could serve as a model or test bed for governing Gaza. Israel, she suggested, could negotiate with Egypt, the United States and regional partners an agreement under which the Palestinian Authority assumes at least symbolic sovereignty over the Gaza side of the crossing. It could then invite the United Arab Emirates, for example, to help create more efficient and faster border screening for people and goods with U.S. assistance and technology.

A cooperative international architecture like this, he said, “could be a test bed for all of Gaza, to be expanded over time, to respond to the demand of the next day.” But she stopped and then laughed. “These are just my dreams,” she said. “Nothing is happening right now.”

Netanyahu and his far-right allies have firmly rejected Palestinian Authority involvement in Gaza, he noted, and have so far rejected the possibility of a regional solution to the war. “This is a grave mistake,” Mr. Hayman said.

King Abdulrahim contributed to the reporting.

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