Fact Check: We Looked at the Claim That Netanyahu Released a 'Gaza 2035' Post-War Reconstruction Plan

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Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unveiled a reconstruction plan for post-war Gaza called "Gaza 2035."


Rating: Research In Progress
Rating: Research In Progress

What's True:

A PowerPoint presentation illustrated with AI-generated images circulated widely online and was said to have been published by the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu …


What's Undetermined:

… but as of this writing, we have yet to receive confirmation from Netanyahu's office that such a plan exists, or whether Israel's current government intends to pursue it. The document could have been shared to address critics' claims that Israel launched into its military operation in Gaza without a clear goal in mind, or with the goal of taking over the strip.


The protracted, often bloody Israeli-Palestinian conflict exploded into a hot war on Oct. 7, 2023, when the militant Palestinian group Hamas launched a deadly attack on Israel and Israel retaliated by bombarding the Gaza Strip. More than 20,000 people, the vast majority of them Palestinians, were reportedly killed during the first two months of the war alone. The violence is driven by mutual hostilities and territorial ambitions dating back more than a century. The internet has become an unofficial front in that war and is rife with misinformation, which Snopes is dedicated to countering with facts and context. You can help. Read the latest fact checks. Submit questionable claims. Become a Snopes Member to support our work. We welcome your participation and feedback.

In late May 2024, claims circulated that the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had released a post-war plan for Gaza. First picked up by The Jerusalem Post, an English-language, center-right Israeli broadsheet, a nine-slide PowerPoint presentation in Hebrew purported to envision a bright, hyper-connected, high-tech future for Gaza, free of Iran's influence and Hamas' chokehold on Palestinian society (we translated this excerpt using Google Translate):

The risk — Gaza is an Iranian outpost that disrupts the the moderate regional framework, sabotages the emerging supply chains from India through the Gaza Strip to Europe, and thwarts any future Palestinian political hope.

Opportunity — Gaza prospered in the past as a crossroads between two ancient trade routes: the sea route (Egypt -> Gaza -> Babylon) and the perfume route (India -> Yemen -> Saudi Arabia -> Europe). It can return and thrive at the center of a moderate regional framework.

The Jerusalem Post, known as a reputable news outlet, said the document came directly from Netanyahu's office. While several other news outlets — including Dezeen and Al Jazeera English — picked it up, we don't know who, exactly, authored the plan and where it is archived. We contacted the prime minister's team to seek more details on the plan, as well as ask about the Israeli government's intent about its implementation. We also contacted Hebrew speakers to help us locate where the file is archived. We will update this story should we receive a response.

The Plan's Content

The plan proposed to turn Gaza — which it described, in its current state, as an "outpost of Iran" — into a thriving enclave of cutting-edge manufacturing and free trade, honoring its long history as a strategic hub at the intersection of several trade routes. The free trade zone would go from Sderot, Israel, through Gaza and to El-Arish, Egypt, about 30 miles west of Rafah. In 2015, the Egyptian government established a special economic zone around the Suez Canal that encompasses El-Arish.

To allow for the transport of people and goods, several train lines would create connections between Gaza, Haifa and Tel Aviv to the north, Beersheba and Saudi Arabia to the southeast, and Port Said to the west. The plan would include an airport south of El-Arish. To support manufacturing, the plan provides for the use of the Gaza Marine and Tamar gas fields, as well as solar fields across the Negev desert.

The precondition to such a plan, underscored in the presentation, is the deradicalization of Gaza through the elimination of Hamas, which the European Union, the U.K., the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and Paraguay have designated as a terrorist group.

To reach these goals, the plan offered a timeline. It called the first 12 months the "humanitarian phase," in which Israel would "free" pockets of Gaza of Hamas. Then, supervised by a coalition of Arab countries (Saudia Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Egypt and Jordan), Gazans would run these safe areas. The second phase (five to 10 years) would see the reconstruction of Gaza, still under the supervision of a coalition of Arab countries. Gazans would run the "rehabilitation authority," financed by a "Marshall Plan" of sorts. Israel would remain as a security force. Once the reconstruction is completed, the Arab coalition would hand power over to a Palestinian government, which would run both Gaza and the West Bank ("Judea and Samaria"), under the condition that it can ensure that the regions can remain deradicalized and demilitarized.

The presentation was short and lacked details. Crucially, while it said reconstruction would be sponsored by the supervisory coalition of Arab states, it gave no indication of its cost. This is no small matter, given that the United Nations estimated that 70% of Gaza's housing had been destroyed in early May 2024, and according to Abdallah Al Dardari, director of the Regional Bureau for Arab States at the U.N. Development Program, rebuilding the Gaza strip would require "at least" $40 billion to $50 billion. The UNDP released a report assessing the socioeconomic damage of the war in Gaza as of spring 2024.

Another major question that arose was whether Netanyahu would even be able to unite his cabinet of far-right ministers around this plan. More than 10 days after the presentation appeared online, Israel National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, a religious ultranationalist, called for the "voluntary migration" of Gazans to make space for new Israeli settlements, indicating that he would not support a plan that left Palestinians to self-govern in the enclave.

Charm Offensive?

The plan appeared to woo the Saudis. It suggested a connection between Gaza and Neom, the skyscraper megacity we first wrote about in 2022. Neom is the widely decried project of Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler, Mohammed Bin Salman, the completion of which many have put in doubt. We contacted Saudi officials to ask what the they made of the alleged proposal and we will update the story if they respond.

The proposal also rested on the assumption that a self-governed, deradicalized Palestinian entity would join the Abraham Accords, a series of bilateral agreements that seek to normalize relations between Israel and Arab countries. As of this writing, the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan were signatories. Saudi Arabia and Israel were in the midst of negotiating a normalization deal before Hamas' attack on Israel in October 2023. An Abraham Accord between Palestinians and Israel would ensure recognition of Israel as a legitimate state, a condition to every peace deal Israel has tried to secure with Palestinian leadership since its foundation in 1948.

Still, Israel would "reserve the right to act against security threats," a Google translation of the plan revealed.

The presentation, illustrated with AI-generated imagery, was considered likely to meet with resistance on the Arab side. For starters, it showed no evidence of input from those most directly concerned: Palestinians. Secondly, suspicion was high that such a proposal would guarantee Israel's presence in Gaza for the long term. The UAE had already responded to it through its Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan:

The translation of the post read:

The United Arab Emirates denounces the statements of the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, about calling on the state to participate in civil administration of the Gaza Strip, which is under Israeli occupation.

The UAE stresses that the Israeli Prime Minister does not have any legal capacity to take this step, and the state refuses to be drawn into any plan aimed at providing cover for the Israeli presence in the Gaza Strip.

The UAE affirms that when a Palestinian government is formed that meets the hopes and aspirations of the brotherly Palestinian people and enjoys integrity, competence and independence, the state will be fully prepared to provide all forms of support to that government.


'Document Outlines Gaza 2035 Redevelopment Proposals'. Dezeen, 28 May 2024, https://www.dezeen.com/2024/05/28/gaza-2035-redevelopment-benjamin-netanyahu/.

'From Crisis to Prosperity: Netanyahu's Vision for Gaza 2035 Revealed Online'. The Jerusalem Post | JPost.Com, 3 May 2024, https://www.jpost.com/israel-hamas-war/article-799756.

Staff, Al Jazeera. 'Does Israel's Netanyahu Have a Plan for a "Day after" the War on Gaza?' Al Jazeera, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2024/5/16/does-israels-netanyahu-have-a-plan-for-a-day-after-the-war-on-gaza. Accessed 1 June 2024.

Suresh, Sanjeeva. 'Opinion: Gaza 2035, A Dystopian City Born from Death & Displacement'. LUXUO, 28 May 2024, https://www.luxuo.com/business/gaza-2025-a-dystopian-city-born-from-death-displacement.html.

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Brown, Eliot, and Rory Jone. 'World's Biggest Construction Project Gets a Reality Check'. Wall Street Journal, 7 May 2024, https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/saudi-arabia-neom-line-construction-99b3f54f.

Dapcevich, Madison. 'Saudi Prince Plans To Construct 105-Mile-Long "Skyscraper Megacity"'. Snopes, 29 July 2022, https://www.snopes.com//fact-check/saudi-prince-skyscraper-megacity/.

'Gaza War: Expected Socio-Economic Impacts on the State of Palestine'. UNDP, https://www.undp.org/papp/publications/gaza-war-expected-socio-economic-impacts-state-palestine. Accessed 1 June 2024.

'UN: Reconstructing Gaza Could Cost $50 Billion'. Voice of America, 2 May 2024, https://www.voanews.com/a/un-reconstructing-gaza-could-cost-50-billion/7595519.html.

'The Abraham Accords'. United States Department of State, https://www.state.gov/the-abraham-accords/. Accessed 1 June 2024.