Kerry Puts Hamas’ Demands First, Israel’s Security Last
Not exactly surprising from an administration that began with secret negotiations with Hamas… that are no longer secret.
The cease-fire draft U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry presented to Israel on Friday evening contained practically no mention of Israel’s security needs or of demilitarizing the Gaza Strip of rockets and heavy weaponry or of the need of destroying the terror tunnels linking Gaza to Israeli territory, according to a draft of the document obtained by Haaretz, revealed here for the first time.
The third clause goes on to spell out, in one way or another, Hamas’ demands: arrangements to secure the opening of crossings, allow the entry of goods and people and ensure the social and economic livelihood of the Palestinian people living in Gaza, transfer of funds to Gaza for the payment of salaries for public employees and address all security issues.
Israel’s demands were mentioned in the most general of terms in the phrase “address all security issues.” There was no one mention of demilitarizing the Gaza Strip of its rocket supply or advanced weapons, and not the dismantling of the terror tunnels…
The final clause of the draft determined that “members of the international community, including the United Nations, the Arab League, the European Union, the United States, Turkey, Qatar and many others, support the effective implementation of the humanitarian cease-fire and agreements reached between the parties, in cooperation and coordination with the parties, and will join in a major humanitarian assistance initiative to address the immediate needs of the people of Gaza.”
Qatar and Turkey are both state sponsors of Hamas terrorism. Egypt and Saudi Arabia aren’t mentioned.
More significantly the only issues being addressed are Hamas’ demands. Israel’s issues with being shelled by Hamas rockets and its citizens targeted for massacres through Hamas tunnels are put last… under security needs.
On Twitter, Laura Rozen has been accusing Haaretz’ Barak Ravid of making up the whole thing to smear Kerry. And then screaming that Israeli officials were constantly “smearing and distorting” Kerry and Hagel.
But then again, Laura Rozen has a track record of making smears like that.
Once you get past her Twitter meltdown however, both Barak Ravid’s version of the draft agreement and her draft agreement are not that different. The major difference is that the Qatar section gets moved down to the end.
Rozen’s version has the same set of priorities…
Convene within 48 hours to negotiate resolution of all issues necessary to achieve a sustainable ceasefire and enduring solution to the crisis in Gaza, including arrangements to secure the opening of border and non-border crossings, allow the entry of goods and people and ensure the social and economic livelihood of the Palestinian people living in Gaza, including fishing rights up to 12nm, transfer funds to Gaza for the payment of salaries for public employees, and address security issues.
There’s a long list of Hamas’ demands, while Israel’s go unmentioned by name entirely.
Unable to argue with Ravid’s facts, Laura Rozen has resorted to attacking him for suggesting that the Kerry proposal recognizes Hamas as the legitimate government.
But in fact that’s exactly what it does. The document negotiates issues involving the people of Gaza with Hamas. It may not come out and mention Hamas, but that’s who the ceasefire is really with. Once you accept that Hamas is acting as a representative of the people of Gaza, it’s now recognized as the legitimate government.
Meanwhile the Palestinian Authority’s Ma’an agency is carrying the Haaretz report. So apparently the PLO and Israel are both being mean to Kerry.
More significantly, by posting the ceasefire proposal, Laura Rozen has admitted that her boy Kerry is a liar.
A few hours before the press conference began, the Israeli security cabinet ministers unanimously rejected Kerry’s cease-fire plan draft. Kerry, as is his wont, seemed and sounded as if he came from a parallel universe. He claimed to have never presented Israel with a formal offer for a cease-fire, slammed the Israeli media’s “mischievous reports” and promised that Netanyahu’s office will issue a clarification.
An associate of Kerry responded as such: “There is no paper and no proposal. The draft was based on the Egyptian proposal that Israel whole heartedly supported. So if they are opposed. They are opposed their own plan.”
So the Israelis are liars, according to Rozen, who proves it with a ceasefire proposal that is basically identical to the Israeli version… which Kerry denied existed.
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