Thursday, October 16

Rehabilitation of Gaza and Solution of Conflict

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi at the Gaza reconstruction conference in Cairo, October 12, 2014. Photo by Reuters
The meeting in Cairo between delegates from the Arab states, Europe,US and other states round the world under the auspices of President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi of Egypt is an important step in rehabilitating Gaza. What is significant is that the most important players, Israel and Hamas were not invited. Hamas, being a terrorist organization, whose goal is to use the pledged funds for rearming and building new tunnels to send terrorists in their fight to destroy Israel. This has to be avoided at all costs. Rehabilitation of Gaza, including infra-structure and economy cannot be achieved if funds are used by Hamas for perpetuating violence and enriching their own leadership. Israel was not invited to participate because of the presence of Arab States at the meeting, who are technically at war with Israel. This is unfortunate and makes one realize how important it is that Israel should accept the Saudi Initiative of 2002. This would lead us closer to a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict. Naturally that would mean jump-starting the moribund Palestinian-Israeli negotiations.
A general view shows delegates attending the Gaza reconstruction conference in Cairo October 12, 2014. Egypt, 

Sissi's message “the road to Riyadh goes through Ramallah” rings true. Netanyahu will never be able to forge normal relations with the moderate Arab states without negotiating a peace settlement with the Palestinians. Somehow, Netanyahu is evading this issue as he has always done. His answer was the normal automatic reaction in order to pacify his right wing coalition partner by increasing settlement activity as in the case of Givat Hamatos recently.

The big fear for the Netanyahu Government is its ending the occupation of the West Bank, which means an end to the settler enterprise there. Netanyahu has often paid lip-service to the two-state solution but without any hint of solving the Israeli settlement problem that is an obstacle to a two-state solution. In fact, it is business as usual there with settlements continuing to be built and weakening Israel's stance even further.

President Al-Sissi is correct in his assessment that Israel cannot expect to improve relationships with the Arab World without solving the problem of occupation. Israel can only play an integral part with those countries who pledge financial for Gaza when the door to a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian is opened. Negotiating an end to the occupation of Palestinian lands, as well as ensuring Israel's security from extremist Islamist terrorist groups, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, is essential in solving the conflict.  While Hamas remains a terrorist organization with a will to destroy Israel as an integral part of its ideology as outlined in the Hamas Charter, it will never be a partner to peace negotiations.

Since the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, the latter has continued with its hateIsrael as they emerged from their bunkers underground. Hamas has proved itself unable to come to terms with Israel's right to exist. Both Israel and Egypt have a shared interest in a weakened Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoot, Hamas. Israel has to end the occupation and work towards a two-state solution, federation or confederation solution. The latter two options may seem more viable in view of the complicated, logistic problems involved in withdrawing over half a million West Bank settlers.
rhetoric towards

One thing is certain that whatever the direction will be in negotiations, Hamas must be disarmed and Israel's security must be assured. Hamas has no place in a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. The recent Operation Protective Shield has proved this beyond any doubt. Hamas has proved that it is a terrorist organization and must be made accountable for the heavy losses inflicted on the Gazan Palestinians because of Palestinian human shield use and non-investment in bomb shelters for Palestinian civilians apart from the Hamas leadership, whose silence during the war was deafening, apart from the diamond-studded Hamas leader, Khaled Mashal, in Qatar, who made the bloody decisions to have as many Palestinians killed as possible as this served his agenda of propaganda against the "Zionist Entity". This evil, enriched worm is now in the background and we do not hear much about him these days. Most of the leaders of Hamas are tycoons and criminals.

Ban Ki Moon, the UN Secretary General, visited Gaza on 13th October and expressed great concern over the destruction in Gaza. At the same time, the continuing settler policies of the Israeli Government are not constructive in reaching a settlement with the Palestinians. Naturally, the Israeli right wingers accuse Ban Ki Moon of being biased and anti-Israel when he expressed what he had seen. It seems as if many right wing Israelis are in denial about the destruction in Gaza and anybody who is upset about it is viewed as an anti-Semite and anti-Israel. This is really quite pathetic! Ban Ki Moon is a very high ranking UN clerk and has no power at all, nor can he really influence decisions. He came on a fact-finding mission and he did not deny Israel's right to defend itself against Hamas. 

The situation in Gaza cannot remain as it is now. It is imperative that a massive rehabilitation programme commences immediately and Israel as well as the participants of the Cairo meeting on Gaza ensure that finances pledged for that purpose reach the parties responsible for undertaking the rehabilitation of Gaza. Security controls must be in place to prevent the donations from reaching Hamas. If this is not done then Hamas will use the money for personal enrichment as well as building tunnels and re-arming. Total disarmament of Hamas is essential before any money reaches Gaza! By the way, the Hamas tycoons can also donate their illegal financial gains for rehabilitation of Gaza. After all, they should be held accountable for Palestinian suffering and mortality there. This suggestion was not brought up in the recent Cairo Meeting.

Lifting of the siege on Gaza is essential no less than the prevention of weapons and building materials for renewing hostilities against Israel by Hamas. A prosperous Gaza with a sound economy is the best weapon against Hamas terror. It is also to the benefit of both Israelis and Palestinians. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sadly enough I agree with most of your comments as to the present Plestinian Israel situation. You have summed up the situation quite correctly.
What is lacking in your comments, which I assume are not meant only for a captive audiance, but rather to the large majority who know practically nothing of the Israel Palestinian conflict and what they spout is a result of breast feeding B.S.lacking any relationship to the facts on the ground.
There are certain facts that tend to be buried because they do not fulfill the objectives of denouncing Israel.
I do not think you are among the yellers. Your comments,in my opinion, as I stated are correct.
As we all like to quote but rarely go beyond that is "YOU NEED TWO TO TANGO" .In May 2008 The then Primeminister Ehud Ulmart offered Abu Mazen a solution to a two state solution. The offer was that Jerusalem become a dual capital Each Party nominating their representitives to manage the Jerusalem complex with a joint Israel and Plestinian control on all civil actions of the joint Capital. It would be run by two mayors each with a deputy mayor from the other capital. Ulmart agreed to annex 6.3% of the West Bank and shortly after suggested a 5.8% annexing of the West Bank. The initiative was forwarded to Abu Mazen for signing. That document is still waiting to be signed.
Abu Mazen is not capable and does not have the authority of the PLO Board to reach an agreement .If you want to further invetigate I suggest, if you haven't done that yet , that you read Condelisa Rize, Secratery of state in the Bush Administration, Memories of that period.