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Wars Also Create Opportunity for Change

By IPCRI Policy Paper  Posted by eileen fleming (about the submitter)     Permalink
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It has been said that wars create opportunities for political changes. The current Middle East crisis should be used by decisions makers to create opportunities to bring the region into a new era of regional and bilateral negotiations aimed at dealing with the Israeli-Arab conflict in a comprehensive fashion.

The Israeli/Palestine Center for Research and Information, founded in Jerusalem in 1988, is the only joint Israeli-Palestinian public policy think-tank in the world. IPCRI is devoted to developing practical solutions for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Their Comprehensive Approach to the Current Crises outlines some opportunities which could be created by the crises.

New IPCRI Policy Paper:
A Comprehensive Approach to the Current Crises
JULY 25, 2006


Greater will of all parties involved to replace the paradigm of violence with one of political dialogue and negotiations.
The implementation of UN Resolution 1559 and other relevant UN Resolutions.
Creating a peace process between Israel and Lebanon.
Creating a peace process between Israel and Syria.
Stabilizing a long-term Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire leading to the renewal of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
The utilization of international forces in various effective peacekeeping roles.
The integration of several of the regional actors in the international forces in various effective peace keeping roles.

This paper outlines several new directions that seek to exploit and to materialize the opportunities created by the current crises. These opportunities include several bilateral tracks with specific steps that should be taken to resolve the current immediate crisis and to bring the region back to the peace track. The comprehensive approach of dealing with bilateral tracks in parallel enables the entire process to be concluded by addressing the root causes of the conflict. The comprehensive approach detailed below could lead to the development of peaceful relations between Israel and all of its neighbors in accordance with the vision of the Arab League Peace Initiative from March 2002. That initiative takes the most comprehensive approach which includes the end of the Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza, the establishment of an independent Palestinian State along the 1967 borders and a just and agreed upon solution to the Palestinian refugee problem. Together with the advancing of an Israeli-Lebanese Track and an Israeli-Syrian Track, the end result could be the establishment of peace and normalized relations with all of the countries of the Arab world.

The following describes in brief the measures that we believe must be taken in order to return the region to a political process.

Israeli-Lebanon Track

A ceasefire agreement will be reached supported by the international community. The Lebanese government will ensure immediately that signs of life of the two Israeli soldiers are transmitted to the Government of Israel. A mutual exchange of all prisoners will take place immediately after the ceasefire agreement comes into force.

Israel will withdraw all of its forces in Lebanon and an effective international peace keeping force led by NATO and mandated by the Security Council will be sent to south Lebanon. The force will work with the Lebanese Army to strengthen it as it is deployed in southern Lebanon and along the Lebanon-Israel border. The Government of Lebanon will implement UN Resolution 1559. Hezbollah forces will be immediately removed from the south of Lebanon.

Israel will withdraw from the Shebaa farms which will be turned over to the United Nations until transferred either to Lebanon or Syria.

Israel and Lebanon will enter into bilateral peace negotiations assisted and/or supervised by France and/or others with the aim of reaching a full peace treaty including normalized relations between them addressing all outstanding issues. The peace treaty will be ratified by the United Nations Security Council. This process is part of the larger regional process involving bilateral negotiations on other tracks and will be considered within that framework.

The Israeli-Palestinian Track

The Palestinian captors of Israeli soldier in Gaza must immediately show a sign of life from him.

The Palestinian President and the Palestinian Prime Minister should announce an immediate ceasefire agreed to by all of the factions including all acts of aggression against Israel, especially the Qassam rockets from Gaza. The Government of Israel should respond by announcing an immediate Israeli ceasefire including all acts of aggression against the Palestinians, especially targeted killings and Israeli military incursions in Gaza and the West Bank.

The kidnapped soldier will be released in Gaza to one of the international representatives in Gaza. The Egyptians could probably fulfill this role.

Within one week after the release of the Israeli soldier held in Gaza, and as part of the framework of the ceasefire agreement, Israel will release all of the women and minors Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons.

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