web analytics
March 1, 2015 / 10 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


The Three-State Solution

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon/Flash90

The Oslo Declaration of Principles (1993) and the Oslo Interim Agreement (1995) took note of the problem of maintaining contact between the two geographical areas of the Palestinian Authority (PA). The Declaration envisaged “safe passage” between them on designated routes through the territory of the State of Israel. Annex I of the Agreement contained an elaborate scheme of implementation: each vehicle must have a “safe passage permit” and each Palestinian passenger must have a “safe passage card”; joint Israeli-Palestinian teams would make sure that only acceptable persons could use “safe passage” and that all who left the one area duly arrived at the other; the precise structure of the terminals and their opening hours were defined, etc.

All this quickly came to nothing. This was among the first provisions, and arguably the very first provision, of the Oslo Accords to collapse in practice. Ever since, Palestinians have had to pass through at least two Arab countries, obtaining all the necessary permits, to get from the one area to the other. As Aaron Tuckey recently noted (March 13, 2012): while there are several states with an exclave (like the US’s Alaska), communication between Gaza and the West Bank is unusually problematic.

Later proposals included a dedicated fenced highway, a railway, even a tunnel. The problem, of course, was how to enable communication between the two areas without creating opportunities for Palestinian terrorism. That problem has only grown since. Letting the two areas go their own separate ways would greatly reduce the threat to Israel’s security in any future Israeli-Palestinian agreements.

In the meantime, the incommunicability between Gaza and the West Bank has also become convenient to the Palestinians, at least to the two main players – Hamas and Fatah. After Hamas won the 2006 elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), it briefly headed a coalition government with Fatah. In 2007 armed clashes between the two led to a Hamas dictatorship in Gaza and a Fatah dictatorship in the West Bank; the PLC has not met since that year. “Dictatorship” is the correct description: the terms of office of both the PLC and Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, have long run out. The two areas are being ruled by unelected individuals via their respective security apparati.

Various agreements have been made between Hamas and Fatah to hold fresh elections and reunite the two areas, committees have been set up to implement the agreements, but it all gets nowhere. Hamas continues to detain and harass Fatah members and to punish pro-Fatah journalists, while Fatah does the reverse in the West Bank.

One of the committees is supposed to arrange the release of the mutual detainees. It has achieved nothing. Rather, there are constantly new detainees. It would be simpler to transfer all the pro-Fatah detainees and activists from Gaza to the West Bank in exchange for a transfer of Hamas people in the opposite direction.

Another committee, also getting nowhere, was charged with creating the apparatus for joint elections. It is still arguing about whether and how to update the register of voters. If they need a show of democracy, it would be simpler to elect separate governing councils in the two areas.

The Palestinian ministries, to the extent that they do any useful work, already operate separately in Gaza and the West Bank. After 2007, the Hamas and Fatah appointees to the coalition government morphed into the de facto governments in the respective areas.

The only remaining connection is that the Fatah government in Ramallah still pays salaries of its former officials in Gaza, regardless of whether they are now doing any work there. At the same time, the Fatah government claims that it is facing a desperate financial crisis. If Fatah ended those useless payments to Gaza, the crisis would be much relieved. Any shortfall in Gaza’s own budget would doubtless be made up by its Islamist friends elsewhere.

For Gaza to go its own way is the easier part. The West Bank and Israel are so much more closely intertwined that here the solution, too, must be complex.

So why has nobody seen all this before, if a permanent separation between Gaza and the West Bank is so obviously the way to go? As a matter of fact, isolated commentators have thrown up this suggestion in the past. Since the beginning of 2012, their number has been growing. They have passed unnoticed for various reasons.

About the Author: Malcolm Lowe is a regular contributor to the Gatestone Institute.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Three-State Solution”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
israel-day-parade-bds
Jewish Communal Fund Provides Millions To New Israel Fund
Latest Indepth Stories
israel-day-parade-bds

Buried in the tax-returns of the JCF is millions of dollars funneled to NIF in the last few years.

Netanyahu in a previous address to Congress-

Bibi’s speech to Congress will bring respect and honor to the Jewish Nation from the US & the world

Korenblit-022715

Obama & Putin have handwriting/signature clues indicating differences between public & private life

Councilman David Greenfield

It’s time for a new Jewish policy regarding Ramallah, NOT just because of the yarmulke incident

“GETT’s” being screened for Israeli Rabbinical Court judges at their annual convention.

If Jackson were alive he’d denounce Democratic party’s silence towards virulent anti-Semitism

Victim of Palestinian Arab terrorism, a victor in NY federal court, after years of being ignored by Justice Dept.

March 2013: Arabs hurled stones hitting the Biton’s car; Adele’s mother swerved the car-into a truck

The real issue is that in many respects the president has sought to recalibrate American values and our system of government.

Former Connecticut senator Joe Lieberman, writing in the Washington Post on Sunday, provided one of the clearest and most compelling analyses we’ve seen of the importance of the prime minister’s speech.

A central concept in any discussion about happiness is achieving clarity. “Ain simcha ela k’hataras hasefeikos” – there is no joy as that experienced with the removal of doubt.

“Je Suis..,” like its famous origin 400 years ago, implies the ability & freedom to think & question

Many anti-Israel demonstrations at universities have a not-so-latent anti-Semitic agenda as well

More Articles from Malcolm Lowe
Right Reverend Lorna Hood at the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

Anyone with a grain of theological education knows that the original Scripture of the Early Church was exclusively the Scripture of the Jews.

Alexis Tsipras, leader of the Greek left wing coalition SYRIZA.

After Greece’s second parliamentary election this year (June 2012), there was a collective sigh of relief in Europe. The political parties that negotiated the bailouts of Greece in 2010 and 2011 had secured a majority in the new parliament and formed a government that was committed to avoiding a Greek default. Europe’s political leaders could now hasten to damp down the next brush fire in the Eurozone, the crisis of the Spanish banks. What those political leaders overlooked was that the Greek political scene has undergone a revolution.

Gibraltar, Monaco, and Hong Kong are all, like Gaza, small heavily populated areas with a coastline, and all are thriving. The main obstacle to further dramatic growth is Gaza’s bad habit of shooting missiles at Israel.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/the-three-state-solution/2012/07/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: