In an important 2400-word article published Sunday by YNET, journalist Ron Ben-Yishai analyzes the following themes:

  • Current differences between the US and Israel
  • The Israeli government’s new “conflict management” policy vis a vis Gaza and the West Bank
  • Israel’s close security relationship with Egypt
  • Israel’s intent to ease restrictions on the lives of Gaza Palestinians and at the same time gain greater guarantees vis a vis Hamas so that conditions that would ignite a new war can be avoided

Ben-Yishai makes the following points:

  1. Israel has acknowledged that the almost-airtight blockade of Gaza has done more harm than good;
  2. Israel is shifting its focus to ease the lives of Palestinians in Gaza in exchange for greater oversight over Hamas;
  3. There are wide disagreements between PM Netanyahu and President Obama;
  4. Though Israel claims still to be interested in a two-state solution (per US and EU), the US and EU believe that a renewal of peace talks between Israel and the PA will enable the US, EU and moderate Arab nations to fight the ISIL more effectively;
  5. The Israeli government believes that it is in everyone’s interests to join forces against ISIL regardless of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and does not believe that a renewal of negotiations will be productive at this time;
  6. The current Israeli government has no intention during these volatile times of removing large numbers of Jews from West Bank settlements in a two-state solution given the ascendency of Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza after Israeli withdrawal;
  7. In place of a two-state solution, Israel is shifting in the short term (until the Middle East stabilizes and the threats of radical forces subside) to a “conflict management” approach of Gaza and the West Bank;
  8. Israel has waived its objections to Palestinian reconciliation in its unity government (PA and Hamas) and is mostly interested now in preventing an uprising on the West Bank;
  9. Israel supports President Abbas’ Palestinian Authority in its efforts to build institutions and regain control over the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, which means allowing economic benefits to accrue to those areas. Israel will allow more freedom of movement for residents of West Bank and eventually Gaza;
  10. Israel will assist in Gaza reconstruction in order to create the incentive to avoid another war in the near future;
  11. Israel supports all policies to prevent rearmament of Hamas and Islamic Jihad;
  12. Israel and Egypt are experiencing an unprecedented security collaboration as part of Israel’s “conflict management approach” resulting in “full trust” between Egypt’s and Israel’s defense systems;
  13. Hamas has not attempted to renew excavation on its tunnels due to its desperation for money to pay workers and its need for massive financial assistance to rebuild Gaza;
  14. Hamas’ red line is disarmament – it will not do so;
  15. Ben-Yishai spells out in detail what Israel will allow for Gaza reconstruction;
  16. The current Cairo conference is attempting to detail how funding will assist Gaza.

Read the entire 2400 word article here – Ynet

 

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