Dr. Walid Phares
A Plan For Gaza: Demilitarization &
January 12, 2009
It may be too early to discuss both a comprehensive solution for the
future of a Palestinian state and to anticipate an end to the global War
on Terror at the same time but here goes. In any discussion of peace in
the Middle East it’s important to remember the intentions of the Iranian
and Syrian regimes and their proxy, Hezbollah when we think about saving
the civilian population of Gaza from war, shielding the Israeli
populations from rockets and avoiding an escalation of violence that
could engulf the entire region. The Iranian and Syrian regimes and their
ally Hezbollah will always oppose the peace process and try to sink it.
So is there a plan to bring peace to the southern shores of the Levant?
In an interview with Al Jazeera, Israeli President Shimon Peres said his
country will stop military operations when the strikes by Hamas and its
allies will come to an end. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said his
Palestinian Authority (PA) is ready to assume responsibility for the
sake of his people. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan’s King
Abdullah said their governments are ready to solve the crisis in Gaza if
the PA is part of it. The United States, the European Union and the
United Nations all affirmed that everything has to be done to end the
war in Gaza. Excellent.
If all the players listed above are ready to stop the violence, end the
war and save Palestinian and Israeli civilians from bloodshed, then the
plan seems to be clear: demilitarization and internationalization of
Establishing a fully-fledged U.N. sponsored and managed security system
in the enclave has precedents across the planet: Bosnia, Kosovo, East
Timor, and to some extent in Lebanon and possibly in the near future,
When an area slips under the control of a militia which is not bound by
a peace treaty, or operating under international law, and when a
population comes under fire from any party because of the military
actions of such a militia, and until a recognizable and recognized
sovereign state becomes responsible for such an enclave, the U.N.
Security Council must step in and apply Chapter 7 of the charter, that
is to bring peace to civilian populations.
In this case, the United Nations has a duty to seize Gaza and manage its
peace until an internationally recognized and responsible Palestinian
state rises again in that province. How will this be accomplished?
1. The Security Council meets and declares Gaza as an area under U.N.
emergency management and vote, under Chapter 7, for a strong
multinational force (MNF) to enter the enclave in coordination with
Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
2. The MNF should not include forces whose governments are in a state of
war with Israel or with the Palestinian Authority and must have
diplomatic relations with both, for the purpose of peace building.
3. The MNF proceeds with the disarming of Hamas and all other militias
first. Gaza should be demilitarized fully. Israeli forces would withdraw
to the lines of demarcation fully.
4. The MNF would reestablish police centers and remit them to a reformed
and transparent PA.
5. The MNF would protect the civilian population, in coordination with
the PA units.
6. The Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference would
provide all needed expenses for the MNF and the PA security forces. A
consortium of oil producing governments from the Organization of Islamic
Countries (OIC) would grant Gaza’s U.N. sponsored local administration
$10 billion or so to end the economic crisis, fund new schools,
hospitals and basic infrastructure.
7. The Arab League would commit to grant Gaza residents visas to visit
all Arab countries and work permits if they wish so.
8. Israel commits to allow Gaza workers to travel to the West Bank and
9. The final security and economic arrangements would be integrated in
the final status negotiations between the PA and Israel.
10. The PA and Israel would resume their direct negotiations for a peace
This 10-point plan can, first and foremost, bring peace and security to
the Palestinian population in Gaza, the Israeli civilians in the
surrounding areas, and also engage the responsibility of the United
Nations, the European Union, the Arab League and the OIC in peace
Evidently, such a plan will never see the light of day as long as any
party to the conflict thinks they can only count on a military solution
— and particularly as long as Hamas is instructed by Tehran and Damascus
to sink the peace process. Sadly as long as democracy is not on the rise
in Iran and Syria we cannot predict the end of the War on Terror.
About Dr. Walid Phares
Dr. Walid Phares is the Director of Future Terrorism
Project at the Foundation for the
Democracies in Washington, a visiting scholar at the European Foundation
for Democracy and the author of the War of Ideas. Dr. Phares was one of the
architects of UNSCR 1559. He is also a Professor of Middle East
Studies at Florida Atlantic University and a contributing expert to FOX News.
Dr. Phares teaches Global Strategies at the National Defense
University. Professor Phares’
is the author of two critical books on the Islamofascist threat to Western
Civilization, "Future Jihad: Terrorist Strategies against the West”
and "The War of Ideas: Jihadism