End the occupation of Gaza

By Ted Belman

In October ’04, I wrote Disengagement won’t end the occupation.

In the wake of the Hamas takeover of Gaza, the issues raised in this article are again seeing the light of day. Avigdor Lieberman wants to Declare Gaza hostile political entity and he is not alone.

The plan’s main points include complete severance of ties with the Gaza Strip, isolating the Strip from the West Bank, bombing Gaza in retaliation of Qassam attacks, canceling Palestinian prisoners’ visitation rights until kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit is released, and ending all contact with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

This plan was recently presented to the US and YNET reports Israel needs ‘complete disengagement’ from Gaza

The idea is based on an article by Dr. Robert Satloff, the executive director for the Washington Institute for Near East policy, who wrote that Israel failed to follow through on all political, economic, and security aspects of the 2005 disengagement, thus “denying itself the consequent diplomatic benefits” of the withdrawal.

“The United States should urge Israel to complete the process of disengagement that it began in 2005… which would include the following: severing the custom’s union; announcing that Israel will, after a certain defined period, cease to serve as the entry point for all goods, people, and services into Gaza; and terminating the “Philadelphia Road” security agreement which has only become a trap for Israeli security,” Satloff wrote.

“Effectively, this would leave Egypt as Gaza’s outlet to the world, with food, water, electricity, and other humanitarian goods flowing over the Gaza-Egypt border.

According to Satloff, “Israel paid the cost of disengagement but never received the benefits. In the eyes of the world, only Israel remained an occupying power after it ended its occupation.

“Israel is alone in the world as being the only country responsible for providing food, water, and electricity to a political entity that daily lobs missiles against its citizens. This is madness,” he added.

In an interview with Ynet, Dr. Satloff explains that the important thing is that Israel completes the disengagement so that, after a while, Gaza will be considered foreign territory.

Israel’s stance needs to be that it’s best for both sides if Israel completes disengagement, he continued, including a total closure of crossings that connect between Israel and a hostile party whose stated goal is Israel’s destruction.

There should be a period of weeks or months, but not years, to allow the Palestinians, Egyptians and international aid organizations to find alternatives, he said. CONTINUE

In effect then Israel then would have no control over the importation of weapons and terrorists in Gaza as it doesn’t in Lebanon. But should Hamas attack as Hezbolah attacked last summer, shock and awe would be in order.

But can Israel allow the build up of hostile forces in Gaza or Lebanon. Sooner or later preemptive action must be taken to destroy the capabilities and the threat. The longer Israel waits, the bigger the battle will be.

June 23, 2007 | 1 Comment »

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1 Comment / 1 Comment

  1. The notion that further cutting Israeli ties to Gaza will allow Israel freedom of action when the Arab terrorists subsequently attack is spurious. It corresponds precisely to the notion in 2005 that ethnically cleansing the Jews of Gaza would allow Israel freedom of action when the Arab terrorists subsequently attacked.

    Sacrificing control is a reliable way to produce greater chaos.

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