By Geoffrey Aronson
SETA Policy Brief, No. 48, October 2010
Significant elements of Israel’s foreign and defense policy system are considering how to win international support for a second disengagement from Gaza that will end Israel’s status as an occupying power in the Gaza Strip, occupied by Israel since June 1967. Israel’s continuing control over Gaza’s sea and air corridors are recognized as sufficient to invest Israel with de facto control over the territory in question, thus meeting the international standard for the continuing characterization of Israel’s role as an occupying power.
The “Lieberman Plan” aims at removing Israel’s “effective control” over Gaza, without compromising Israeli security or intruding upon its own sovereignty. Under a post-occupation regime, Gaza should be able to trade and interact freely with the world. Israel should be encouraged by the international community to pursue this effort, even as US-led diplomacy continues. Turkey is well-placed to play a leading role in this effort. The international community must, however, establish its own benchmarks so that Israel will truly end its control over Gaza, enabling Palestinians there to recover from the draconian trade restrictions now in place and establishing the vital principals of Palestinian independence and sovereignty.