Executive Summary – Gaza Blockade

Polithon Outcome Executive Summary

The humanitarian situation in Gaza was already reaching a breaking point before the escalation in violence between Israel and Gaza, and now has been pushed far beyond. In 2012, the UN said that Gaza would be “unlivable” by 2020, but as a result of the devastation this summer, we are sure that will set in much sooner without a complete lifting of the blockade as soon as possible. It is clear that removing the blockade of Gaza is a critical first step for the future of Israeli and Palestinian peace, security, and prosperity, but is even more necessary given the dire circumstances of Palestinians in Gaza. Israel’s ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip has not achieved its objectives, and has only worsened the situation and prospects for peace, while also dramatically increasing poverty levels for Gaza’s 1.8 million inhabitants.

It was necessary to be realistic in the approach that follows so that both parties could agree and the situation could be improved. The lifting of the blockade in a gradual, coordinated, and monitored process will further a stable security environment for all and create a lasting economic framework for both Gaza and Israel’s long-term benefit. This first step outlines a twenty-four (24) month plan of action; our hope is that by specifically and strategically addressing certain aspects of the security, economic, and social issues at hand, we can encourage and foster confidence building among the parties involved. Below are highlights of our agreement-proposal, presented in six (6) to twelve (12) month increments. These points, in the context of the broader framework presented, will provide real and positive change for  Israelis and Palestinians.

 0-6 Months:

  • Release of tax revenue for Palestinian Consensus Government (PCG) from Israel.
  • Expansion of the fishing zone off the coast of Gaza to six (6) nautical miles within two (2) weeks, with the expansion to ten (10) miles after six (6) months period, contingent upon Palestinian compliance with the ceasefire during that time period
  • Lifting restrictions on the Kerem Shalom border crossing of trucks for import and export of goods and services, unrelated to the travel of humanitarian/UN trucks.
  • The UN commits to monitoring the import of goods/services across Kerem Shalom.
  • Israeli forces will withdraw to one hundred (100) meters within the Gaza border and will not operate at any point more than one hundred (100) meters within the border. To be completely withdrawn to the green-line within twelve (12) months.
  • Israel guarantees supply of critically needed water and electricity.

 6-12 Months:

  • Open the Erez border crossing for up to 1000 people per day initially, and increasing to 2000 per day by twelve (12) months after signing, monitored by an EU Coalition.
  • The allowance for pass-through permits for up to 100 entrepreneurs and 500 students per year (cumulative to 2000 students, 500 entrepreneurs after 4 years).
  • Israel allows permits and licensing for private firms to provide eco-energy consulting in Gaza.
  • Recognition by both parties of the other’s territorial sovereignty, requiring the cessation of any tunnel construction beyond Gaza’s borders.

 12-24 Months:

  • Israel withdraws its troops and security forces from the one hundred (100) meter point within the Gaza border back to the original green-line border demarcation.
  • Opening of the Karni border crossing for the transfer of goods and services to and from Gaza.
  • Opening of the Erez border crossing for up to 5,000 people per day, as monitored by an EU Coalition, after eighteen (18) months from the date of signing.
  • The creation and development of a seaport in Gaza, under the guidance and assisted-project management of a coalition of actors.
  • Ease restrictions on credit and financing to small and medium enterprises in Gaza.
  • The US commits to the support of the Israeli military and its facilities, providing aid and funding to develop Israeli military technology, weaponry, and capabilities.
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