Long term quiet in Gaza
Israeli News: IOF proposes updates in exchange for Gaza "long term quiet"
As the two sides exchanged further fire over the weekend, Israel's foreign minister recommended improving living conditions in Gaza in exchange for quiet from the enclave's Islamist authorities, intending to prevent "never-ending waves of conflict."
Yair Lapid said Sunday that the proposal, which includes infrastructure and job benefits, intended to show Palestinians in the Israeli-blockaded enclave that Hamas' violent assault against Israeli occupation is "why they live in poverty, scarcity, bloodshed, and high unemployment, without hope.
Lapid, who is set to take over as prime minister in two years as part of a rotation agreement, acknowledged that his plan has not yet become official policy in Israel's eight-party coalition government, but said that Prime Minister Naftali Bennett supports it.
In the first stage of the plan, Gaza's infrastructure, which serves a population of two million people, will be upgraded, according to Lapid, who spoke at Reichman University in Herzliya. “In exchange, Hamas will pledge to long-term quiet,” he added, saying that the international community, particularly Egypt to Gaza's south, would play a role in the process.
“It won't happen without our Egyptian partners' support and cooperation, as well as their ability to communicate with everyone involved,” Lapid said.
“Any violation by Hamas will halt or delay the process,” he warned.
If the first stage goes well, Gaza will see the creation of an artificial island off its shore, which will allow for the development of a port and the establishment of a "transportation link" between Gaza and the West Bank.
Lapid said the plan has been offered to "partners in the Arab world," as well as the US, Russia, and the European Union.
“There is still work to be done, and we are still sketching out ideas,” he said, “but if this plan has a chance to succeed and acquire public support, I will recommend it to the government as the official position.”
The threat of further violence arose just hours following Lapid's words. The Israeli occupation announced that it had intercepted a rocket fired from Gaza at southern Israel, the third such incident in as many days.
Israeli forces responded by striking four Hamas military installations and a tunnel in the Palestinian enclave overnight Monday, according to an Israeli occupation statement.
In May, Israeli occupation and Hamas waged their fourth full-scale battle since 2008. A truce arranged by Egypt brought the conflict to a close.
Israeli air strikes on the territory, according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, resulted in "widespread devastation of civilian facilities."