The Israeli Foreign Ministry has submitted a classified document to the regime’s security cabinet, calling for stationing an international force in the besieged Gaza Strip, Zionist press reports say.
The Israeli-envisioned force will then be tasked with monitoring rehabilitation and preventing the rearming of Hamas and other resistance movements within the Palestinian territory, major Zionist daily Haaretz reported Sunday.
“The Foreign Ministry believes that such a force could serve Israel’s interest if it carries out effective security work in Gaza,” the report noted.
According to the daily, the two-page document, entitled “Principles and Parameters for Deployment of an International Force in Gaza,” was given to the ministers of the security cabinet on August 21, by Foreign Minister director-general Nissim Ben-Sheetrit.
It further quoted a Foreign Ministry official as saying that the document was formulated in the context of ideas received by Germany, Britain, France and other European countries during the war on Gaza, to establish an international monitoring force in Gaza that would be based on an upgrading of the European monitoring force stationed at the Rafah crossing between 2005 and 2007.
The Israeli daily also elaborated on the “principles” by which the so-called international force will be functioning:
1. Makeup of the force:
The Zionist regime presents four options under this category, insisting on Western makeup of the force, calling for a European Union force; a Western force with membership of European countries as well as the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand; a United Nations force; and a NATO force.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry, however, recommended the EU option to the cabinet, because that was the most available force and because the Europeans have already shown willingness in principle for such a force.
Tel Aviv demands that the force’s powers should derive from the tasks of rehabilitation and disarmament. According to the document, the force should be armed and given enforcement powers that will “allow it to deal with threats from Hamas and other terror organizations.”
The document further states that the force should carry out enforcement, monitoring and reporting at border crossings. It should have the power to prevent arms from entering the Gaza Strip, and to confiscate arms and other prohibited materials. It should also have powers to inspect UN facilities and schools in the Gaza Strip to ensure they are not concealing weapons.
The occupying regime wants the force be deployed on the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing and along the border between the Gaza Strip and Sinai – known as the Philadelphi strip – as well as certain areas inside the Gaza Strip, such as UN installations, in keeping with the force’s mandate.
4. The force’s mandate and legal framework:
The Israeli regime recommends that the force operate in the Gaza Strip by virtue of a UN Security Council resolution, or by virtue of an agreement between Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, the United States and the EU that would be backed by a UN Security Council resolution.
Tel Aviv further suggests that the force operate for at least a year, with an option to extend for another year, also demanding that the force operate according to Chapter 6 of the UN Charter, as does UNIFIL in southern Lebanon. This means that all parties involved – Israel, the Palestinians and Egypt – would have to agree to its deployment.
A senior Israeli foreign ministry official has also stated that deployment of an international force could become a “very relevant possibility” when talks on a long-term cease-fire are renewed in Cairo between the Zionist regime, Hamas and the other Palestinian factions.
One of the issues that will be raised, mainly between Egypt and the Palestinians, is the permanent opening of the Rafah crossing, the Zionist official added.
It remains to be seen whether Palestinian resistance fighters would even consider such entirely self-serving conditions put forward by Zionist officials. Hamas officials have already rejected any ideas around disarming the Palestinian resistance.