EU Proposal : Gaza Reconstruction in Exchange for Hamas Disarmament

Written by | Friday, August 8th, 2014

In an attempt to find a way out of the conflict in the Gaza Strip, Germany, France and Britain have proposed a deal to Israel in which the territory would be rehabilitated with European oversight, while preventing the rearmament of Hamas and other terror groups in the Strip. This latest initiative by the three European states is a response to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s demand for the disarmament of Hamas. The main principles of the proposed deal are: Firstly, preventing the armament and strengthening of Hamas and the rest of the terror organizations in Gaza. Secondly, rehabilitating the Gaza Strip in cooperation with the international community and the Palestinian Authority and enabling the transfer of humanitarian aid. Thirdly, setting up an international mechanism to prevent the entry of prohibited materials to the Strip and ensuring that materials such as cement and iron do not reach the terror organizations but are used only to rehabilitate Gaza. Fourthly, returning the Palestinian Authority and President Mahmoud Abbas to the Gaza Strip. And, finally, the possibility of returning the European Union’s Border Assistance Mission to the Rafah border crossing alongside the Palestinian presidential guard.

The three European powers hope to reach an agreement with Israel that would allow these understandings be turned into a binding decision that would be in turn submitted to a vote at the UN Security Council. Meanwhile, at an informal session on the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged all interested parties to promptly launch investigation of the recent attacks on UN premises and other suspected breaches of international law while emphasizing that “UN shelters must be safe zones, not combat zones. Those who violate this sacred trust must be subject to accountability and justice.” He also added that “Mere suspicion of militant activity does not justify jeopardizing the lives and safety of many thousands of innocent civilians.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on his part, told foreign journalists on Wednesday (6 August) that the Gaza Strip’s rehabilitation must be closely associated with its demilitarization, whereby the Palestinian Authority headed by Abbas must be part of any discussion about rehabilitating the Strip or the security arrangements in it following the ongoing war.

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