Thursday, November 22, 2012

Looking At The Text Of The Ceasefire Understanding – Just The Facts

Dr. Aaron Lerner..
IMRA Weekly Commentary..
22 November '12..

I want to take this opportunity to review the actual text of the Ceasefire Understanding announced yesterday in Cairo and leave speculation as to the efficacy of alternatives to PM Netanyahu's decision to accept this understanding to other commentators for today.

I do this because it is vitally important to understand what is in fact written and not written in the text.

[The text follows this commentary]

#1. The obligation of each party not to engage in "hostilities" is not linked to the compliance of the other party.

#2. In point of fact, the agreement explicitly and specifically prohibits Israel from the "targeting of individuals" - so that Israel cannot dispatch to Paradise a specific terrorist either before, during or after they have engaged in an activity against Israel.

#3. The only relief available to a party in the event that the other party violates the understanding is to inform Egypt of the violation, with Egypt following up on the violation.

#4. While the understanding places no restriction on the importation or local manufacture of weapons in the Gaza Strip, it prohibits any Israeli activity inside the Gaza Strip against this activity. (Take note: Prime Minister Netanyahu said last night that "the United States and Israel would work together to fight the smuggling of weapons to the terror organizations". Mr. Netanyahu did not mention Egypt and in the case of the Americans, this relates only to the smuggling of weapons – not their
manufacture in the Gaza Strip).

I want to make it clear that I am not speculating if Israel will opt to violate the understanding and return fire. I am also not going to speculate if Israel will opt to violate the understanding and demolish weapons manufacturing and storage facilities. My point is only that such activities are not sanctioned by the understanding.

Which brings us to a disturbing element of the entire concept:

Israel's peace treaty with Egypt is one of the most critical strategic assets that Israel has.

Egypt is both the official sponsor of this understanding and, as already mentioned above, the party assigned the responsibility to follow up on violations of the understanding.

From this point onwards, every decision Israel makes regarding the Gaza Strip will have to give considerable weight to the possible impact of that decision on the future of the Jewish State's relations with Egypt.

I will leave for others to speculate if Hamas has been deterred or if, instead, they will exploit this understanding to prepare in earnest for the next round of conflict.

I will also leave for others to speculate if Israel will opt to exercise its fundamental sovereign right to defend itself.

I will only reiterate that the text of the understanding that Israel accepted last night has no provision for Israel to do anything beyond informing Egypt in the event of Palestinian violations and that there is absolutely no restriction of any kind on Palestinian military preparations.


Full text: Terms of Israel-Palestinian cease-fire
Posted by Anup Kaphle on November 21, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Here is text of the cease-fire agreement between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza. The text was distributed at the news conference in Cairo with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Amr.

Understanding Regarding Ceasefire in Gaza Strip

1. a. Israel should stop all hostilities in the Gaza Strip land, sea and air including incursions and targeting of individuals.

b. All Palestinian factions shall stop all hostilities from the Gaza Strip against Israel including rocket attacks and all attacks along the border.

c. Opening the crossings and facilitating the movements of people and transfer of goods and refraining from restricting residents’ free movements and targeting residents in border areas and procedures of implementation shall be dealt with after 24 hours from the start of the ceasefire.

d. Other matters as may be requested shall be addressed.

2. Implementation Mechanism:

a. Setting up the zero hour for the ceasefire understanding to enter into effect.

b. Egypt shall receive assurances from each party that the party commits to what was agreed upon.

c. Each party shall commit itself not to perform any acts that would breach this understanding. In case of any observations Egypt as the sponsor of this understanding shall be informed to follow up.


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1 comment:

  1. Shades of Oslo II. There, too, the sides established no instance for the adjudication of grievances (save shooting at each other). By letting that happen, they predestined the accord, as an accord, to failure with only two enduring consequences: Israel's territorial concession and the existence of the PA.