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Egyptian Think-Tank Issues Analysis on Aftermath of Gaza Crisis

The Egyptian Center for Strategic Studies (ECSS) issued Thursday an analytic paper titled “The Future of the Gaza Strip” bringing about insight pertinent to the aftermath of the Israeli aggression against the Palestinian enclave.

The researchers present a vision on the post-war stage on the basis of preserving Palestinian rights. They also evaluate Western counterparts’ perception of that era, and who suggest that a vacuum will be created, if Israel eliminates Hamas.

The paper criticizes such perceptions for that they disregard the salience of a ceasefire, and the fact that the current Israeli military escalation in Gaza do not affect Hamas. Rather, it causes atrocities among civilian Palestinians.

The analysis also criticizes that Western analysts overlook “the determinants of Egypt’s stance on the Palestinian Cause, not only with regard to the ongoing Gaza crisis but also with regard to the overall resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”

“Egypt seeks a fair and comprehensive resolution that ensures security and stability in the Middle East by establishing a Palestinian state along the borders of 4 June 1967, with its capital in East Jerusalem,” the ECSS notes.

The center elaborated that Egypt had “realized that the purpose of the Israeli escalation was to create a plan for the forced displacement of Palestinians towards Sinai, with the aim of exporting the crisis to Egypt through the largest military operation of massive bombing on the Gaza Strip, thereby turning it into a human time bomb aimed at Egypt.”

On the other hand, the paper sheds light that Palestinian factions failed to abide by the reconciliation agreements that were being mediated by Egypt since 2007, providing the Israeli side with an excuse to blame “the lack of a negotiating partner” for not holding negotiations on a political settlement to the conflict.

That is not the only issue but also the rules of opening Rafah Border Crossing have been compromised.

“Even though the 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access required that the crossing only function when three parties—the Palestinian National Authority, Israel, and the European Union—are present on the Palestinian side, Egypt committed itself to keeping the crossing open for Palestinians. Following Hamas’ takeover of the Gaza Strip, European Union and PA personnel withdrew. As per the agreement, this would result in the closure of the crossing, an outcome that Egypt had diligently sought to prevent for several years,” the ECSS underscores.

As for a sustainable solution on Gaza, the paper suggests that it has to be a Palestinian one that excludes regional and international interventions. That solution is reinstating the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) administration of the Strip.

“This scenario posits that the Gaza Strip will be administered politically and socially by the PA, while Hamas and Jihad transform into two Palestinian factions akin to all other Palestinian factions, bound together by a shared commitment to the Palestinian right to establish a Palestinian state, notwithstanding their political divergence in approach towards this objective. The subsequent admission of Islamic Jihad and Hamas into the Palestine Liberation Organization will be sufficient to grant legitimacy to every constituent of the Palestinian people,” the document elaborates.

Yet, there are three conditions for that scenario to materialize. One is that the personnel who will be in charge of the Strip’s management must enjoy the respect and appreciation of Gazans. Another is that the international community must foster a peace process targeting to accomplish the two-state solution. The third is securing “institutional and financial support” to reconstruct the Strip that is still sustaining destruction by Israeli shelling.

Source: Egypt Today

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