Tag Archives: Cairo Initiative

Hamas Accepts Cease Fire–Israel Must Stand Down!

A senior Egyptian official told the media that Hamas had accepted the Cairo Initiative and will cease firing. “We have obtained Hamas’s agreement and are awaiting the response from Israel.” An Israeli official is expected in Egypt today and hopefully it will bring an end to death and destruction. Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said “Hamas is going to publicly express its support and acceptance(to the Cairo Initiative). The ball is now in the court of Israel to cease firing and come to the negotiating table of peace.

Israel must stand down even if at this moment each point is not clearly spelled out. It would assist the process if a Turkish armed force could be sent to assume control over Gaza crossings and ensure that rocket attacks cease as well as Israel attacks on Hamas leaders. The Turkish force would continue supervising the area on condition there are no more rocket attacks or assassinations of Hamas leadership. They would be responsible to ensure no more tunnels are built since the crossings would allow enough food and materials to enter and Israel would cease to supervise the process.

A next step would be for Israel to meet with the Arab League to discuss its proposal of peace and recognition in exchange for a return to the 1967 borders. It is time for religious fanatics on both sides to be pushed aside in the name of peace.

Egyptian Peace Plan-Who Benefits By It?

Hamas officials have been shuttling back and forth to Cairo in an effort to secure cooperation of the Egyptian government regarding the proposed cease fire agreement with Israel. Reports suggest the Cairo Initiative is predicated on two week period of calm during which time, Israel forces will cease bombing in Gaza and Hamas will cease firing rockets into Israel. Humanitarian assistance would be allowed into Gaza. The Egyptian plan appears to allow Israeli forces not to leave Gaza unless Hamas agrees to a ten or fifteen year truce during which all rocket attacks on Israel will end. However, Hamas is upset because the plan does not guarantee an end to Israel attacks on Hamas leaders or to absolute guarantees there will be free passage of goods in and out of Gaza.

At some point, Israel must take a gamble and pledge to cease targeting Hamas leaders as part of any truce agreement and to pledge an end to blockading Gaza. Perhaps, the immediate approach to this problem is turning over all Gaza crossings to troops from Turkey- a nation that is trusted both by Israel and Hamas. Israel must end killing of Palestinian leaders and it must withdraw from controlling the passage of goods into and out of Gaza.

We forget that Germany which killed 30 million Europeans during World War II was able to build positive relations with its enemies once all became involved in the Marshall Plan to reconstruct the continent. Perhaps, it is time for a similar “Marshall Plan” in the Middle East which would compel enemies to work in a cooperative manner with one another.