Peace Proposals Grow
With situation looking bleak, a spate of proposals are raised to move forward.
Jewish Telegraphic Agency
the Arabic press. The Arabic version would be
accompanied by arguments against the continued
use of violence.
In Solana's vision, Hamas and Islamic Jihad would
he old aphorism that things must get
• then fall in line and relatively moderate Arab coun-
worse before they get better fits today's
tries like Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia would
Israeli-Palestinian conflict like a
come out in support of the ceasefire. Israel would
then start withdrawing from Palestinian cities, along
Twenty-two months of armed conflict
the lines of the Peres formula.
have taken their toll on both sides. Beyond
Egyptian and Jordanian instructors would move in
the dead and wounded, economic suffering has
train the reconstituted Palestinian security forces,
reached new heights.
which would be responsible for keeping the peace. A
As the Israeli economy sinks into deeper recession,
similar plan, by CIA Director George Tenet, has an
and life for the Palestinians under curfew and clo-
added proviso: Palestinian police would be screened
sure becomes unbearable, both sides are looking for
for credibility before they take over.
a way out. The past few weeks have
Peres' Palestinian counterparts on
seen more creative thinking, open
and finance, P.A. Interior
meetings, back channels and inter-
Gen. Abdel Razak Yehiyeh
national involvement than at any
Minister Salim Fayed,
time in the past two years.
have presented plans of their own.
Those efforts might be derailed, at
Yehiyeh put forward a more ambi-
least temporarily, by Israel's airstrike
tious, longer-term security propos-
in Gaza early Tuesday morning, July
The IDF withdraws to its posi-
23, which killed Hamas military .
tions before the intifada (uprising)
leader Salah Shehada and at least 15
erupted in September 2000.
civilians. The attack was widely con-
Palestinian forces move in and take
demned internationally because of
the civilian casualty toll.
Under Yehiyeh's plan, Israel and
Palestinian Authority leader Yasser
the Palestinians then renew securi-
Arafat called the attack a massacre
ty cooperation and the Palestinians
and said it had scuttled what he
carry out Israel's major security
claimed was a potential Hamas agree-
demands: reducing the number of
ment to suspend suicide bombings.
different armed forces from over a
For its part, Hamas vowed
dozen to three under one unified
vengeance, threatening to accelerate
command; confiscating illegal
violence, which had been largely
and ending incitement
under control since the Israel
Defense Forces reoccupied
Fayed proposes a 100-day plan
Palestinian towns and cities across
thorough reform of P.A. finan-
the West Bank last month.
cial practices. To create absolute
Some Israeli analysts, however, say
Palestinians pass by a destroyed house in Gaza City on July 23. An Israeli warplane
openness, he is proposing that all
the air strike, other recent military
Palestinian funding go through just
successes against Hamas and the
one bank, and that he sign all
commander of the military wing of Hamas, in a planned military strike.
reoccupation itself have helped
restore Palestinian respect for Israeli
Other, less official groups a
power. That, they argue, could evoke more concilia-
Israelis and Palestinians have been
tory and creative Palestinian approaches that may
To help alleviate Palestinian suffering, Peres has
putting forward even farther-reaching proposals. In
spur the diplomatic process forward.
said that Israel is ready to release about 10 percent
back channels, mainly in Israel and Europe, they
For Israel, three issues are key: a ceasefire, reform
of the Palestinian tax funds it has frozen — as soon
have been sounding each other out — and drafting
of the Palestinian armed forces and a Palestinian
as a mechanism is set up, with American assistance,
plans for a permanent peace deal.
decision-making process that bypasses Arafat. For
to guarantee transparency in the money's use.
One of the more interesting proposals emerged
the Palestinians, the immediate goals are an Israeli
from a mid-July meeting in Belgium between Ziyad
withdrawal from West Bank cities and alleviation of
Abu Ziyad, the P.A. official formerly in charge of
the population's day-to-day hardships.
Jerusalem affairs, and a group of Israeli academics.
Various formulas are being proposed to meet
At the same time, European Union (EU) foreign
Abu Ziyad published a statement of principles
policy chief Javier Solana has been trying to arrange
that included major Palestinian concessions on two
a credible cease-fire. He is urging Arafat's Fatah
of the issues that torpedoed the Camp David
Leslie Susser is the diplomatic correspondent for the
movement, with its Tanzim militia, to publish a uni-
sovereignty over Jerusalem's Temple Mount
lateral cease-fire call in both the New York Times and and the "right of return" for Palestinian refugees.
In talks this months with Palestinian leaders other
than Arafat, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres has
been trying to find creative solutions for all these
problems. On withdrawal, Peres proposes a "Judea
First" option, under which the IDF would withdraw
from cities in the southern West Bank such as Jericho,
Hebron and Bethlehem. If those places
remain quiet, the IDF would start pulling
out of northern cities like Jenin, Nablus
Peres has hinted that total withdrawal would be
contingent on a clear Palestinian blueprint for new
elections. The voting would take place as soon as
Israel completes its withdrawal, and the outcome
would have to guarantee that Arafat is neutralized.