Hoe de oorlog in Gaza te beeindigen – zinnige adviezen van de International Crisis Group

De gerenomeerde onafhankelijke denktank International Crisis Group legt de verantwoordelijkheid voor de bloedige en uitzichtloze oorlog in Gaza – m.i. terecht – collectief bij Hamas, Israel, de Palestijnse Autoriteit en de internationale gemeenschap. Op deze evaluatie volgen zinnige adviezen hoe de oorlog te beeindigen. Belangrijk hierbij voor de EU (en dus NL), is het advies dat de EU niet alleen weer de grensposten tussen Gaza en Egypte zou monitoren, maar ook die tussen Israel en Gaza. Het zou leerzaam zijn om te zien hoe Israel en Hamas op met name dit laatste voorstel reageren:

..Washington’s unhelpful and perilous efforts to slow things down notwithstanding, the most urgent task must be stopping the fighting; already, the absence of effective mediation has contributed to the climb from unreliable ceasefire to long-range rocket fire and massive aerial bombardment to ground offensive. To protect civilians, limit political damage (regional polarisation and radicalisation, further discrediting of any “moderates” or “peace process”) and avoid a further catastrophe (massive loss of life in urban warfare in Gaza, a Hamas rocket hit on a vital Israeli installation), third parties should pressure both sides to immediately halt military action. In short, what is required is a Lebanon-type diplomatic outcome but without the Lebanon-type prolonged timetable.

To be sustainable, cessation of hostilities must be directly followed by steps addressing both sides’ core concerns:

* an indefinite ceasefire pursuant to which:

– Hamas would halt all rocket launches, keep armed militants at 500 metres from Israel’s border and make other armed organisations comply; and

– Israel would halt all military attacks on and withdraw all troops from Gaza; real efforts to end arms smuggling into Gaza, led by Egypt in coordination with regional and international actors;

– dispatch of a multinational monitoring presence to verify adherence to the ceasefire, serve as liaison between the two sides and defuse potential crises; countries like France, Turkey and Qatar, as well as organisations such as the UN, could play an important part in this; and

– opening of Gaza’s crossings with Israel and Egypt, together with: return of an EU presence at the Rafah crossing and its extension to Gaza’s crossings with Israel; and

– coordination between Hamas authorities and the (Ramallah-based) PA at the crossings.

That last point – Hamas’s role – is, of course, the rub, the unresolved dilemma that largely explains why the tragedy unfolded as it did.
Gaza’s two-year story has been one of collective failure: by Hamas, which missed the opportunity to act as a responsible political actor; of Israel, which stuck to a shortsighted policy of isolating Gaza and seeking to undermine Hamas that neither helped it nor hurt them; of the PA leadership, which refused to accept the consequences of the Islamists’ electoral victory, sought to undo it and ended up looking like the leader of one segment of the Palestinian community against the other; and of the international community, many regional actors included, which demanded Hamas turn from militant to political organisation without giving it sufficient incentives to do so and only recognised the utility of Palestinian unity after spending years obstructing it.

This should change. Sustainable calm can be achieved neither by ignoring Hamas and its constituents nor by harbouring the illusion that, pummelled into submission, it will accept what it heretofore has rejected. Palestinian reconciliation is a priority, more urgent but also harder than ever before; so, too, is the Islamists’ acceptance of basic international obligations. In the meantime, Hamas – if Israel does not take the perilous step of toppling it – will have to play a political and security role in Gaza and at the crossings. This might mean a “victory” for Hamas, but that is the inevitable cost for a wrongheaded embargo, and by helping end rocket fire and producing a more stable border regime, it would just as importantly be a victory for Israel – and, crucially, both peoples – as well.

‘Ending the War in Gaza’ (International Crisis Group Middle East Briefing N°26, 5 January 2009)

..The Palestinians have been trying to internationalise their conflict with the Israelis ever since Yasser Arafat pleaded for UN forces to protect the Palestinians after the failure of the Oslo agreement.

Always the Israelis have refused. The very odd observer force which the EU installed in Hebron after Baruch Golstein had massacred Palestinians at the mosque – its patrols regularly interrupted by the Jewish settlers of this very odd city – simply faded away. And the United Nations Relief and Works Agency has been throwing tents and food and school classes at the slums of Palestinian refugee camps for generations. Can it be that yet another Israeli failure in Gaza will change the dynamics of “peacekeeping” in the Middle East, that at last the ghost of Arafat will watch the “internationalisation” of the Israeli-Palestinian war?..

Bring In the Peacekeepers? (By Robert Fisk in The Independent & truthdig) Ondertussen blijft een vitale vraag:
Wil Israel, via Gaza, oorlog met Hezbollah en Iran uitlokken?


4 thoughts on “Hoe de oorlog in Gaza te beeindigen – zinnige adviezen van de International Crisis Group

  1. @Peter Louter, ik ontving je reactie op een andere blog dan deze, en herplaats hem daarom hier:peter louter (ip: / 07-01-2009 16:40
    JW, mij een zionist noemen is net zo onzinnig als jou een anti-semiet noemen. Moeten we niet doen.
    Er is wel wat meer aan de hand dan een simpele clash tussen Israël en Hamas. Zie mijn analysehttp://www.volkskrantblog.nl/bericht/239929
    Hamas is voor heel veel landen een obstakel.

    Met je analyse ben ik het niet eens. Wel met die van de International Crisis Goup waaronder je je reactie plaatste (en die ik daar zal trachten te verwijderen):http://www.volkskrantblog.nl/bericht/239957

  2. @JW, ik kan wel meegaan in het vetgedrukte gedeelte hierboven, uitgezonderd de rechtmatigheid van het Hamasregime.

  3. @Peter,
    Hamas heeft bij de laatste (democratische) verkiezingen de meerderheid behaald. De VS, Israel en de PA hebben dit niet
    willen aanvaarden – en de EU heeft zich mee laten slepen
    door de VS en Israel om Hamas als een ‘terroristische beweging’
    te bestemplen.

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