2 janvier 2009 5 02 /01 /janvier /2009 10:49
1. PEACE PROCESS AND PALESTINIAN POLITICAL CONTEXT: The main political argument of Hamas for the launching of rockets against Israel is that Palestinian moderation toward Israel will get you nowhere. The rockets are political missiles aimed at all "moderate" Arab leaders in the Middle East. They point out that the Annapolis process has failed both in reaching an Israeli-Palestinian agreement and that the situation on the ground has not improved despite unprecedented dialogue and cooperation with Israel on the part of President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayad. If there had been significant progress between the Palestinian Authority and Israel on issues such as settlements, Jerusalem or prisoners Hamas would be in a much weaker position in the eyes of both palestinians and the Arab world. Clear signs of movement toward a two-state solution would give President Abbas a much greater possibility of recovering the hearts, minds and the territory of Gaza. A national unity government of the ANP and the eventual acceptance of Hamas of the two-state solution needs a real perspective of peace on the ground and at the negotiating table that will only happen under significant US and EU pressure and more international involvement.
2. ELEMENTS FOR A STABLE CEASE-FIRE IN GAZA: The end of Hamas rockets and Israeli attacks needs a multilateral agreement and international involvement on the ground probably sanctioned by a UN Security Council resolution. The blockade on the movement of people and goods in and out of Gaza must end, along with the smuggling of arms from Egypt. Both the Rafah crossing with Egypt and the Erez crossing with Israel must be opened with strong involvment of EU and possibly Arab troops under the official management of the Palestinian National Authority, as demanded by Egypt. A UN monitoring and peackeeping mission made up of EU and Arab troops could assure the flow of humanitarian aide and the fullfilment of the terms of the ceasefire, including the protection of the civilian population.
3. INTERNAL PALESTINIAN AGREEMENT: A pre-requisite for a stable agreement and international involvement is an internal Palestinian agreement. Hamas and Fatah must accept the 1 year prolongation of the presidential term of Mahmoud Abbas that expires on January 9th and accept a return to the principles of Palestinian unity agreed upon in the Mecca agreement. New presidential elections should be convened in 2010. If no internal palestinian agreement or even a minumum modus vivendi between Hamas and Fatah there will be little hope for a stable cease-fire and the military option for a regime change in Gaza will remain on the table. No UN or International involvement will be possile without Israeli and Palestinian acceptance. There are some signs that Israel might now accept UN troops in Gaza.
4. GREATER ROLE FOR EU: The EU should support an inmediate cease-fire and the end of all hostilities on both. The EU police mission at the Rafah border crossing must be upgraded, possibly with a joint EU and Egyptian military mission, and made operable on the ground even at times of tension. The EU should support a binding UN resolution for a ceasefire backed up by a peacekeeping force that would be deployed in the border area and would insure the delivery of humanitarian aide. The EU must call for a new international peace conference to revive the Annapolis process and recognise the Arab Peace Initiative as basis for agreement.