Today’s tragic stampede deaths around a Gazan aid convoy contain lessons for those who wish to learn them, and the horrible event suggests the urgency of doing so.

What appears to have happened, based on drone video recordings, bird’s-eye photos, and publicly available information on deployments and schedules, is that thousands of Palestinians in Gaza swarmed aid trucks upon their arrival early this morning. Dozens were killed in the stampede to and from the trucks, in the trucks’ operators’ attempts to get free of the crowd, and by armed looters firing at the trucks that managed to make it out of the immediate crush. Ten or fewer of the casualties were Palestinians who rushed at an IDF post and ignored warning shots.

The lessons that won’t be learned are the ones about media coverage. Numerous outlets took Hamas’s word on what happened, which would soon be debunked by video, but not before the “reporting” made the rounds. As of this time of writing, the Associated Press tweet claiming it was an Israeli “strike” on the convoy is still up—eleven hours after it was posted—despite the fact that we know definitively that that didn’t happen and that the mere suggestion of it is insane.

But there are still lessons that can be learned—foremost among them, the importance of developing a plan for postwar, post-Hamas Gaza ready to be implemented on day one to avoid the chaos that will be waiting for all parties if they are not fully prepared.

One such plan has just been developed and released by the Vandenberg Coalition and the Jewish Institute for National Security of America, two DC-based networks of national-security experts. This joint task force is chaired by John Hannah and includes Elliott Abrams, Emily Harding, Eric Edelman, and others.

The challenge of governing a Gaza in transition should not be underestimated. Hamas, rulers of the Strip before and during the war, had insinuated themselves into every nook and cranny of life in Gaza. They monopolized, and continue to monopolize, its politics and economy. And they must not play any role whatsoever in Gaza’s future; they are responsible for the fact that it needs to be rebuilt in the first place. Life in Gaza is dependent on the dismantling of Hamas.

But as the authors rightly point out, there is another problem with Hamas’s governance: It has been in the service of Iran’s attempts to disrupt peace and stability in the region and suppress authentic Palestinian self-determination. “The region deserves a better future than Iran strives to impose on others,” they write.

So how might that better future be facilitated?

The task force recommends the creation of an International Trust for Gaza Reconstruction, funded by the U.S. and partner states in the region. The trust would deal with the two sides of reconstruction: on the one hand, humanitarian relief and restoring services; on the other, governance and administration. It would be advised by a council of Palestinians—crucially, the authors suggest, this would include Palestinians in the diaspora alongside Gazans and West Bank residents.

The de-Hamasification of the Strip would be an ongoing process and one that Israel would, from a security standpoint, continue to oversee. For the rest, a coalition of states such as the U.S., Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia would fund and manage the transition to a new Palestinian government in Gaza. The task force envisions the phasing out of the UN refugee agency’s participation, to be replaced by Palestinian civil-society groups.

If the past few months, and especially tragic events like today’s, have taught us anything, it is that security is paramount. Hamas will not go quietly but neither can militant gangs fill the vacuum. Food, supplies, equipment, and people will need to be safely moved in and out of Gaza for an extended period of time. The projects within the Strip will need to be protected not only from Hamas dead-enders but from any armed gangs that would do what they did today and shoot fellow Palestinians while hijacking aid.

We know from Iran and Syria’s long campaign of assassination in Lebanon that standing up a Palestinian government will be seen as a provocation to the colonizing powers in Tehran and that any foreign presence aligned with the U.S. will be targeted. With security, however, can come true representative Palestinian governance and Palestinian-led economic institutions.

None of this will be easy, but it is essential, and it will only be possible with serious investment and planning from those who want to see the Palestinians live free of the terror and tyranny they experienced under Hamas.

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