Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Occupation by Other Means

Israeli politicians promote deploying an Arab multi-national force in Gaza

"Bethlehem - Ma'an - A number of Israeli politicians are advocating handing control of the Gaza Strip over to a multi-national Arab League force in cooperation with the European Union, Israeli medial sources revealed on Wednesday.

According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, Israeli Knesset members Avshalom Vilan and Zahava Gal-On have been promoting this initiative for several weeks. They have already presented it to senior Palestinian figures, including Finance Minister Salam Fayyad, and Gaza-based businessmen, Haaretz says, in addition to foreign diplomats.

The two MKs, who represent the left-wing Meretz party, are seeking the support of senior ministers and government officials, and plan to present their proposal to Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni next week. Livni has also expressed interest in stationing a multi-national force in the Gaza Strip, Haaretz reports.

According to Haaretz, this initiative is part of "a package deal," which would begin with negotiations between Arab and Israeli representatives regarding the Arab peace initiative and also address the issue of exchanging the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit with Palestinian prisoners, including Hamas ministers and parliamentarians. The initiative also includes discussing a mutual ceasefire. Also according to Haaretz, this proposed multi-national force in Gaza would be presented by the Quartet - the U.S., Russia, EU and UN - in front of the UN Security Council.

The multi-national force would be deployed for two to five years, with the agreement of both Israel and the Palestinians, Haaretz adds. The force would have security and economic roles. It would be deployed along the Philadelphi Route, which runs parallel to the Egypt-Gaza border, in order to prevent smuggling from Sinai, Haaretz says, and also along the border with Israel to prevent the launching of projectiles from Gaza into Israel.

"So far we have had relatively positive responses," Vilan told Haaretz. "Everyone has stressed that it is very important to have PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' support. The risk is that tomorrow Abbas will say he is fed up and then we will be stuck with Hamas, and the anarchy will spread to the West Bank and we will be drawn back in there," he added. "


The same plan that was used in Lebanon last summer. Replace Siniora with Abbas and you get the picture. Another foothold for NATO forces to crush any Arab or Muslim resistance. There is no lack of Arab collaborators, including Palestinians who would sell their mothers.

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