Israel captures Gaza, Rafah, and El-Arish in 1949

The Israelis were days away from taking Gaza, Rafah, and El-Arish in the 1947-1949 war when the armistice was called.

What if Israel had captured these places? The terms of the armistice OTL involved Israel withdrawing from Egypt, but I imagine they'd still hold on to the Gaza strip.
 
There wouldn't have been a Gaza Strip.
And either Gaza would’ve become like northern Israel with mixed Jewish and Arab towns or most of the Arabs would’ve fled to Egypt and you would have refugee camps in the El Arish area.
 
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First, a bit of backstory.

During Egypt's rule of the Gaza Strip, in line with Nasser's extreme adherence to secularism, Islamist societies and groups were harshly cracked down upon. This would end after the Six-Day War when Israel drove Egypt from the Gaza Strip. Israel, fully focusing on the PLO, tolerated and even supported Islamist groups and charities in Gaza, believing them to be a better alternative than the PLO. One of these groups was Mujama al-islamiya, a Gazan branch of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. This group provided religious instructions and social services to Palestinians. The governor of Gaza, Yitzhak Segrev, says that while the charity's anti-Israeli attitude was known, they were '100% peaceful', so both he and the Israeli military left them alone, even occasionally allowing the charity's leader, Ahmed Yassin, to receive medical treatment in Israel. The Israeli military even refused to take action when the group assaulted the Red Crescent Charity's headquarters, only stepping in to protect the house of the leader of the charity.

In 1984, Israeli raids on mosques discovered caches of weapons, but when he was placed under arrest, Yassin claimed they were to be used against secular Palestinians, not Israel. Yassin was released. When Yassin was arrested, Avner Cohen, a member of Israeli intelligence, sent reports to senior members of the Israeli military and the civilian leadership in Gaza, warning about the dangers of the Islamist movement. Out of sheer neglect, these warnings were ignored.

In 1987, Israeli negligence bore fruit when Yassin, along with six other members of the charity, formed Hamas as the charity's armed wing. With Mujama controlling 40% of the mosques in Gaza, Hamas used these locations to provide cover for raising, laundering and transferring funds, provide employment for it's operatives and serve as a logistical support network.

At the start of the First Intifada, Hamas maintained a non-lethal stance against Israel, in cooperation with other members of the Palestinian leadership, such as Yassir Arafat. However, Hamas would break from this line in 1989 when they murdered two soldiers. In retaliation, Yassin was arrested and sentenced to life in prison, with 400 Hamas members deported to Lebanon, where they would form a relationship with Hezbollah, with Hamas forming it's own paramilitary wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades in 1991, which would fight in the Second Intifada, leading to the deaths of 3,000 Palestinians and 1,000 Israelis.

Between Feburary-March 1996, Hamas would carry out a terror campaign against targets such as buses on Jaffa Road and the Dizengoff Centre in Tel Aviv, the latter being the fourth suicide bombing in Israel in nine days. This terror campaign is often cited as one of the factors that led to the election of the Likud Party in that year's election.

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Since this POD happens long before the various Palestinian nationalist groups coalesce into the Palestinian Liberation Organization, then there is no enemy for Israel to focus their attention on, so I believe they would put the boot down on any Islamist groups fighting in the name of 'Palestine'. This means Hamas never exists to pose a looming threat to Israel's security. Israel would attempt to prevent any further threats to it's security by expelling the city's Arab population or at least a large majority of it and encouraging Jewish settlers in the region.

The elimination of Hamas could potentially mean Israeli politics are less radicalized, since I don't see the Fatah movement diverging from it's OTL path just because Hamas doesn't exist, since as I just said, Hamas didn't start becoming a threat to Israel until the 1980s. While Fatah is very much a extremist organization (Check out the Palwatch YouTube channel for proof), they have more or less moved away from openly attacking Israel with their armed wing and have settled for perpetuating anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic propaganda among their citizens while sending monthly stipends to the families of terrorists in Israeli custody

Gaza would be very much better off, I can say that much. In 2014, the University of Tel Aviv predicted that Gaza had strong economic potential, especially when it comes to natural gas.

(For some reason, UTA really doesn't like me linking their page here. Just type in 'Gaza economic potential' and see what you can get)

Gaza has economic potential, including development of tourism along the coast, services, and even high tech. The production of natural gas, which was discovered off-shore, near Gaza, has great potential. The field is estimated to contain one trillion cubic feet of gas and to have a production life of 15 years. The project could deliver major economic, environmental, and financial benefits to the Palestinians, generating estimated revenues of approximately $2.4 billion in royalties and taxes over its life. It will also save $550 million annually by eliminating the need to import electricity from Israel. The Palestinians will also be able to replace the diesel currently being used by the Gaza power station with gas. This will significantly reduce the cost of generating electricity for Gaza

Israel’s interest lies in advancing such a move, but in a manner that also leaves room for the PA’s involvement in order to ensure the broad legitimization required. The PA’s involvement also serves Israel’s long-term interest in preventing the strengthening of Hamas at the expense of secular elements in the Palestinian national movement.

Development of the Marine gas field off the Gaza coast is a new element that could and should help in this regard. The development could take place under the auspices of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF) established last year in Cairo.

That would allow the sides to overcome the internal Palestinian political crisis stemming from the split between Hamas and the PA and hampering the development of the gas field. It could also resolve the severe crisis in the Palestinian energy sector and ease the economic hardship in the Gaza Strip.

The gas field was discovered in the year 2000 some 36 km. offshore at a depth of 600 meters. The Marine field – estimated to hold about one trillion cubic feet, making it smaller than other fields discovered in the region – is commercially viable.

The reservoir was discovered by British Gas, which was subsequently bought by Shell.
So, instead of being a open-air prison ruled by a fundamentalist death cult, Gaza could potentially have been very prosperous, economically, not as prosperous as the Port of Haifa, but it would've been better than living in a place where on one hand, you have to deal with a death cult provoking rocket attacks on your family and on the other hand, 70% of the population was dependant on humanitarian aid in 2014.
 

raharris1973

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However, Hamas would break from this line in 1989 when they murdered two soldiers. In retaliation, Yassin was arrested and sentenced to life in prison, with 400 Hamas members deported to Lebanon, where they would form a relationship with Hezbollah, with Hamas forming it's own paramilitary wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades in 1991, which would fight in the Second Intifada, leading to the deaths of 3,000 Palestinians and 1,000 Israelis.

Between Feburary-March 1996, Hamas would carry out a terror campaign against targets such as buses on Jaffa Road and the Dizengoff Centre in Tel Aviv, the latter being the fourth suicide bombing in Israel in nine days.
When did they first do a suicide bombing? 1996 after Oslo II? After the assassination of Rabin? How many Israeli casualties did Hamas inflict after the two soldiers in the 1989-1991 era, and in the era between the 1991 Qassam Brigades and Oslo I in September 1993?

Not too many I think. After having mostly sat out the fighting of the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s, they get started when the Israeli-PLO deals are under way. The timing is important and kind of proves that they were oppportunists, political vacuum-fillers, a leverage tool for their own cult leader, and spoilers more than defenders of their people.
 
It might be better off, but who for? The people who were living there wouldn't have been able to remain. We can assume that 90% would be expelled, that's the policy Israel had in the other places they conquered. By 1949 it had a population of 60,000, which would have been reduced to 6,000 by the invasion. The people who would then migrate to the area would make it mostly Jewish within a few years, assuming it was subjected to the same level of deliberate and free range settlement as the rest of the country. The Gaza people who would have been members of resistance groups since then would have instead been in Egypt or elsewhere, not in a version of Gaza that was conquered by Israel in 1949.

The Gaza Strip just doesn't exist in this scenario. There is some other refugee camp in Egypt that is famous for housing their Palestinian refugees, and it may be famous for being later administered and settled by Israel following a later war, or having some other reason to be a focus for Palestinian nationalism. The area of Gaza is only famous for being near the early border of Israel, with an asterisk that it had a Palestinian population until very recent history.
 
The Gaza Strip just doesn't exist in this scenario. There is some other refugee camp in Egypt that is famous for housing their Palestinian refugees, and it may be famous for being later administered and settled by Israel following a later war, or having some other reason to be a focus for Palestinian nationalism. The area of Gaza is only famous for being near the early border of Israel, with an asterisk that it had a Palestinian population until very recent history.
Maybe? There are basically three categories of Arabs from the lands that are in Israel today ... (1) The ones that stayed, (2) the ones who left because they were driven out, and (3) the ones who left because they were encouraged to leave under the expectation that they'd be able to go out after the Jews were driven into the sea.

Odds are Rafah and El Arish in Sinai would be bigger cities/encampments with larger Palestinian populations. But it's also likely that Gaza and Israeli Rafah could be somewhat like Acre or Galilee.
 
Maybe? There are basically three categories of Arabs from the lands that are in Israel today ... (1) The ones that stayed, (2) the ones who left because they were driven out, and (3) the ones who left because they were encouraged to leave under the expectation that they'd be able to go out after the Jews were driven into the sea.

Odds are Rafah and El Arish in Sinai would be bigger cities/encampments with larger Palestinian populations. But it's also likely that Gaza and Israeli Rafah could be somewhat like Acre or Galilee.
The ones that were driven out by force (2) were more than four-fifths of the total civilian population that ended up under Israeli administration. The numbers who were allowed to remain (1), or who left for some kind of unusual reasons (3), were negligible, they can't be listed like they're equivalent.

If Israel had driven out fewer Gazans than average, it would be more like the other areas where they chose the policy of fewer expulsions, the exceptions you listed in Acre and Galilee. If they drive out an average amount of Gazans compared to their practice in the whole country, it will be like most of the rest of the country, the other areas where a large number of Palestinians were driven out. That's up to the Israeli forces on the ground, so it's up to the scenario. Otherwise we should assume they'll act how they did in OTL, outside the specific scenario.
 
It might be better off, but who for? The people who were living there wouldn't have been able to remain. We can assume that 90% would be expelled, that's the policy Israel had in the other places they conquered. By 1949 it had a population of 60,000, which would have been reduced to 6,000 by the invasion. The people who would then migrate to the area would make it mostly Jewish within a few years, assuming it was subjected to the same level of deliberate and free range settlement as the rest of the country. The Gaza people who would have been members of resistance groups since then would have instead been in Egypt or elsewhere, not in a version of Gaza that was conquered by Israel in 1949.

At least if the Palestinians are in a refugee camp, they could have the potential for mobility outside of the camp's conditions, which probably won't happen under Nasser. Anwar Sadat is likely to ignore the issue of Palestinian refugees in the name of peace with Israel and will most likely encourage them to become assimilated into Egyptian society, similar to how dozens of Palestinians have chosen Jordanian citizenship rather than languish in a refugee camp, waiting for a return to Palestine which will never happen.

Living in a Palestinian refugee camp is no holiday, but at least it'd be better than living under Hamas.

Also, it'd be better off for the Israelis who don't have to put up with this in TTL


 
It might make the Jordanian option more viable. It’s been the preferred solution for Israeli policy makers since the 70’s-80’s (advocated by Peres), could find some support in the Arab world, and judging by some polls I’ve seen isn’t entirely objectionable to many Palestinians in the West Bank. Jordan of course renounced all claims to the West Bank in 1989 after the PLO declared a Palestinian state, but without Gaza that might be butterflied away. But the main obstacle to the Jordanian option IOTL is that it leaves Gaza entirely out, so it’s only a partial solution at most, and additionally leaving Gaza out is quite unacceptable to the Palestinians (and rightfully so). Doesn’t mean of course that the Jordanian option would be the one agreed on ITTL necessarily, since there would still be the thorny issues of the refugees and Jerusalem.
 
At least if the Palestinians are in a refugee camp, they could have the potential for mobility outside of the camp's conditions, which probably won't happen under Nasser. Anwar Sadat is likely to ignore the issue of Palestinian refugees in the name of peace with Israel and will most likely encourage them to become assimilated into Egyptian society, similar to how dozens of Palestinians have chosen Jordanian citizenship rather than languish in a refugee camp, waiting for a return to Palestine which will never happen.
I assume they'd be treated like how they were treated in OTL. The difference is where those Palestinian refugees would have to go, in this case they'd be totally expelled from the territory of Mandatory Palestine, rather than forced into a no-mans-land as non-citizens in an unrecognized state, and then maintained in this refugee status for twenty years by an intransigent Israeli government.

If they're more completely removed from their homeland, then they might be less likely to believe that one day Israel would allow them to return, or that the international community could put pressure on them to do this. It's obvious to us NOW that Israel was never going to allow any refugees to return, but at the time most people seemed to think they'd make some kind of compromise there.
 
Somewhat related though had the Altalena Affair been resolved in ATL without violence with the weapons on the ship being transferred to the fledgling IDF as allegedly intended instead of Yitzhak Rabin ordering the ship be destroyed. etc, does this additional POD help further accelerate the process of ATL Israel capturing Gaza, Rafah and El-Arish in the same way have read it being commonly assumed the critical weapons shipment would have allowed Israel to prevent the West Bank coming under Jordanian rule and Jerusalem being divided?
 
Somewhat related though had the Altalena Affair been resolved in ATL without violence with the weapons on the ship being transferred to the fledgling IDF as allegedly intended instead of Yitzhak Rabin ordering the ship be destroyed. etc, does this additional POD help further accelerate the process of ATL Israel capturing Gaza, Rafah and El-Arish in the same way have read it being commonly assumed the critical weapons shipment would have allowed Israel to prevent the West Bank coming under Jordanian rule and Jerusalem being divided?
If the Right-Zionists had tried to invade the West Bank, Jordan doesn't abide by its agreement with the Jewish Agency and goes full force against the Zionists. That's very bad for Israel.
 
If the Right-Zionists had tried to invade the West Bank, Jordan doesn't abide by its agreement with the Jewish Agency and goes full force against the Zionists. That's very bad for Israel.
No, meant that the Irgun surrenders and has the weapons from the ship transferred to the IDF in ATL.

Or was it the case of ATL Israel only being able to focus on either Gaza, Rafah and El-Arish or the West Bank in 1947-1949 yet not both even with the weaponry / ammo from the Altalena?
 
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