CIA Chief Expected in Paris, Israel to Send Delegation

  • CIA director Bill Burns was expected in Paris on Friday to discuss a new hostage deal and a pause in the fighting in Gaza. A senior Biden administration advisor reportedly told Israeli officials that progress had been made in Cairo between Hamas and Egyptian and Qatari mediators. Axios
  • Possibly in response to US reports of Hamas' flexibility, the Israeli war cabinet voted to send a delegation to the Paris talks late on Thursday. The government has not yet confirmed the decision, however. The Times of Israel (a)
  • Meanwhile, Israeli media claimed on Wednesday that the country's security apparatus was preparing to roll out a pilot plan in which Israel would establish "humanitarian pockets" in cleared districts of Gaza City, possibly its Zeitoun neighborhood, and install local Palestinian leaders unaffiliated with Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA). Jerusalem Post (LR: 3 CP: 5)
  • An unnamed Israeli official said that implementing such a system of governance — which both Hamas and the PA called unworkable — would take time and Israel was aware that "no one will come forward if they think Hamas will put a bullet in their head." Reuters (LR: 3 CP: 5)
  • Regardless of Israel's plans for the strip's post-war governance, clashes in Gaza City — where Israel said Hamas had largely been defeated — continued on Thursday after fighting erupted earlier this week in the city's Zeitoun neighborhood. Intense fighting was also reported in the center of the strip and Khan Younis. The Times of Israel (b)
  • Gaza's health ministry reports that the conflict has killed over 29K people in the Gaza Strip, the majority of whom were women and children. The war has also created a rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation. The official Israeli death toll on Oct. 7 stands at around 1.2K people (and there are still over 100 hostages being held in the Gaza Strip). Associated Press (LR: 3 CP: 5)

Pro-establishment narrative:

  • Though Israelis have valid fears after the cruel barbarity of Oct. 7, Israel must make peace with the Palestinians and the Arab world to ensure its lasting security. Everyone can agree that the PA has many issues that must be urgently fixed, namely its corruption and Abbas' weakness. Nonetheless, Israel cannot reoccupy the Gaza Strip, which would be a significant strategic blunder, and Israeli leaders must realize that only a revitalized PA can manage Gaza's civil administration so normal life can return to the strip as soon as possible.
    NBC (LR: 2 CP: 4)

Pro-Israel narrative:

  • Israel simply cannot work with a political entity that lacks the moral character to condemn Hamas' Oct. 7 terror attack, regardless of US plans to force a "reformed" PA on Israel. The PA would be incapable of demilitarizing Gaza or deradicalizing its population, meaning that the chance that an attack like Oct. 7 could happen again remains. To solve this, Israel will instead rely on a network of trustworthy and independent locals to manage Gaza's civil affairs while it holds strategically essential terrain.

Pro-Palestine narrative:

  • The great irony of the debate regarding the PA and Gaza's post-war governance is that Palestinians, especially in the occupied West Bank, overwhelmingly see the political body as an extension of Israel's occupation. Even if one disregards Israel's unrealistic plans for running Gaza, Mahmoud Abbas and his lame-duck administration in Ramallah are deeply unpopular, and Palestinians simply do not want to be governed by the PA. The US must realize that it can't force Palestinians to acquiesce to its geopolitical interests, and it will have to be more creative if it wants to set the conditions advantageous to ending this conflict.
    INTERCEPT (LR: 1 CP: 1)

Nerd narrative:

  • There's a 58% chance that Israel will have de facto power in the Gaza Strip on Jan. 1, 2025, according to the Metaculus prediction community.
    METACULUS (LR: 3 CP: 3)
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