According to the AP, A European idea to help end the devastating conflict in Gaza is gaining traction: Develop Gaza’s port to reopen the besieged territory to the rest of the world through a Cypriot port, with international monitors assuring that no weapons get through..
Germany and France have already proposed to re-activate the EU border mission in Rafah with Egypt but there is also a consensus in Europe that the development of the Gaza port should be part of the reconstruction effort, according to EU officials. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the precarious nature of the current ceasefire and the uncertainty of the peace process.
Many of these ideas were already proposed by Hamas before the invasion. According to Mondoweiss, a 10-year truce was proposed by Hamas prior to the recent Israeli invasion of Gaza. The conditions are below.
1. Withdrawal of Israeli tanks from the Gaza border.
2. Freeing all the prisoners that were arrested after the killing of the three youths.
3. Lifting the siege and opening the border crossings to commerce and people.
4. Establishing an international seaport and airport which would be under U.N. supervision.
5. Increasing the permitted fishing zone to 10 kilometers.
6. Internationalizing the Rafah Crossing and placing it under the supervision of the U.N. and some Arab nations.
7. International forces on the borders.
8. Easing conditions for permits to pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque.
9. Prohibition on Israeli interference in the “reconciliation agreement.”
10. Reestablishing an industrial zone and improvements in further economic development in the Gaza Strip.
As is clear, the proposals made by the Europeans relate to number 3 “Lifting the siege and opening the border crossings to commerce and people,” and number 4, “Establishing an international seaport and airport which would be under U.N. supervision.” The actions may also relate to numbers 5, 6, and 7 and 10.
A temporary cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian factions in Gaza entered its third and final day on Thursday, as delegations from both sides continued to negotiate a more permanent truce in Cairo.
Israel has agreed to extend the 72-hour break in fighting under its current terms, as per an interim deal brokered by Egypt, an Israeli official said on Wednesday. Hamas, however, stated that no agreement has been reached on an extension, adding that it will consider resuming fire on Israel if its demands aren’t met.
Nearly 1,900 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have died in the most recent conflict.