Egyptian Settlement Plan Inter Israel, Palestinian Factions In Gaza

The only way to avert an escalation in security in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip is to implement partial Egypt-proposed understandings, said Israeli media.

The Israel Hayom daily reported Thursday that Egypt proposed a settlement plan between Israel and Palestinian factions in Gaza, starting with Hamas.

A new Egyptian proposal would see Gaza demilitarized in return for Israel lifting the blockade currently in place and a series of international projects to improve the situation in the coastal enclave, Egyptian security forces and senior Palestinian officials in Gaza and Ramallah report.

According to the plan, the Palestinian organizations, under the leadership of either Hamas or an umbrella political group representing all the organizations in Gaza, would remain in charge of internal affairs in the Gaza Strip through the use of the security mechanisms already in place in there, said the Israeli daily.

The plan would allow some light weaponry to remain in Gaza to be used mostly for domestic security purposes. The number of those weapons would be reduced and strictly monitored.

According to Egyptian security officials, as well as senior Palestinian officials in Gaza and Ramallah, Jerusalem and Cairo have come to realize that Hamas “is not going anywhere”. They say that Egypt and Israel have also come to terms with the fact that the Palestinian Authority will be hard-pressed to return to power in Gaza, either under a Palestinian unity agreement or as a result of the collapse of the Hamas regime in light of the dire humanitarian situation and the continued military conflict with Israel, said Israel Hayom.

According to senior officials in Ramallah, PA President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Liberation Organization leadership would agree to the demilitarization of Hamas and the other factions in Gaza on the condition the PA was put in control of the enclave and tasked with leading the project.

A senior Egyptian security official said: “We are now waiting for the new government that will be elected in Israel in order to speed up the process, with the goal following the elections in Israel being to involve other influential Arab states.”


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