...The commitment not to have rockets in the Gaza Strip is not some obscure, arcane and insignificant commitment. It's a core commitment. And it is high time that Israeli officials make this crystal clear. "Quiet for quiet" is not enough for the PA. If the PA controls the Gaza Strip then the rockets must go.
IMRA Weekly Commentary..
01 May '14..
Mahmoud Abbas says the unified PA will honor its commitments.
And the phrase "honor its commitments" appears in pretty much every statement made by every international figure talking about a unified PA.
But this phrase has been left bereft of meaning.
At most there is a reference to an expectation for quiet.
Let's be clear about this:
The PA is absolutely and unquestionably committed to the absence of rockets in the Gaza Strip.
Here is the text of one such signed commitment:
Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip
Washington, D.C., September 28, 1995
CHAPTER 2 ARTICLE XIV 4. Except for the arms, ammunition and equipment of the Palestinian Police described in Annex I, and those of the Israeli military forces, no organization, group or individual in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip shall manufacture, sell, acquire, possess, import or otherwise introduce into the West Bank or the Gaza Strip any firearms, ammunition, weapons, explosives, gunpowder or any related equipment, unless otherwise provided for in Annex I.
And here is the Annex - rockets are not in the list:
THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN INTERIM AGREEMENT ON THE WEST BANK AND THE GAZA
Annex I ARTICLE IV 5. c. In the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Police will possess the following arms and equipment:
(1) 7,000 light personal weapons;
(2) up to 120 machine guns of 0.3" or 0.5" caliber; and
(3) up to 45 wheeled armored vehicles of a type to be agreed on between the two sides, and of which 22 will be deployed in protecting Council installations.
So anyone who can read a few sentences can see that the commitment is that rockets are not in Gaza.
Again: the commitment is not that rockets aren't FIRED from Gaza. It is that rockets do not EXIST in Gaza.
"Quiet for quiet" might be an appropriate policy and goal in a stand-off with Hamas. But it is not what should be expected from the PA.
This is not just a question of trying to gain points in public opinion.
The "quiet for quiet" policy is a cancer that started in the 70's when we accepted the gross Egyptian violation of an American brokered cease-fire with the movement of SAM missiles to the Suez Canal. The same SAM's that played such a deadly role in facilitating the Egyptian crossing of the Suez Canal a few years later in the bloody 1973 Yom Kippur War.
"Quiet for quiet" allowed a monstrous threat to build up in South Lebanon and again in the Gaza Strip.
And if we indicate that we accept the continuation of the "quiet for quiet" policy even when the Gaza Strip is ostensibly part of a unified PA then inevitably the "quiet for quiet" cancer will make its way to the West Bank.
The commitment not to have rockets in the Gaza Strip is not some obscure, arcane and insignificant commitment.
It's a core commitment.
And it is high time that Israeli officials make this crystal clear.
"Quiet for quiet" is not enough for the PA.
If the PA controls the Gaza Strip then the rockets must go.
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