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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Foreign Ministry Legal Department: International force in Gaza could be precedent for Judea and Samaria

A paper prepared by Israel's notoriously Leftist foreign ministry says that the presence of an international force to keep the 'peace' in Gaza could act as a precedent for a similar force in Judea and Samaria.

The seven-page paper, written by the ministry’s legal department, presents alternative models for the establishment of an international presence or mechanism in the Gaza Strip for the “day after” the fighting ends.

The idea of a multinational force in the West Bank has been raised over the years by the Palestinians and others as a possible solution to Israel’s security concerns if it withdraws from the area. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has consistently opposed the proposals.

The ministry drew up the paper following Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman’s call in the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday to bring a “UN mandate” to Gaza.


One option would be a binding Security Council resolution under Chapter VII of the UN Charter that would give an international force enforcement authority and the ability to use force beyond just self-defense purposes to carry out its designated mission. In the case of Gaza, this would necessitate the agreement of the Palestinian Authority, Egypt and Israel and the tacit approval of Hamas.


Another model would be under Chapter VI of the UN Charter, where a force would be established that would not have enforcement authority, and would be primarily concerned with supervisory or reportorial roles.

The duties of this type of force would include reporting on ceasefire violations, efforts at demilitarization, supervising rehabilitation of Gaza, reporting on terrorist activity, overseeing humanitarian assistance and institution building.

There are a number of examples of this type of force in the region, such as UNIFIL, the UN Interim Force in Lebanon; UNDOF, the UN Disengagement Observer Force on the Golan: and UNFICYP, the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus.

Another option is creating a framework outside the UN and agreed upon by the parties. The two examples of this type of arrangement are also taken from the region, the Multinational Force and Observers in Sinai established as part of the 1979 Israel-Egypt peace agreement, and TIPH, the Temporary International Presence in Hebron.

Before deciding which model would be preferable, the paper said that in addition to concern about the precedent such a force would set regarding the West Bank, several other factors needed to be considered.
There are many reasons not to agree to this force. Read the whole thing.

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