JERUSALEM - The upcoming disengagement will allow the Palestinians to show the world they deserve an independent state, Palestinian Authority National Security Advisor Jibril Rajoub said at a conference in Jerusalem Monday.
“Gaza will be a model for the Palestinian state,” Rajoub said in the session, organized by The Media Line news agency at Jerusalem’s American Colony hotel.
The conference, organized by The Middle East Press Club, a group of Israeli and Palestinian journalists that meets every three months,
was also attended by former Shin Bet Chief AmI Ayalon, who has initiated the People’s Voice Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative. The two spoke about the upcoming disengagement plan and the “day after” in the Gaza Strip.
The PA has decided to establish a special security unit in order to ensure the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza is quiet and in order to safeguard the property Israelis leave behind.
“This is a special organization on our part in order to prevent fire from the Palestinian side,” he said. “The most important thing for us is to prove to everyone we deserve a state, and we’ll act in accordance with this doctrine.”
Rajoub said Palestinian side will not cause problems during the disengagement.
“We have an interest in the Israelis leaving Gaza without even thinking about going back there,” he said.
However, Rajoub said Israel has not yet assisted the Palestinians in developing the disengagement, and an agreement is necessary "if the Israelis want the disengagement to bring the solution."
“The unilateral disengagement, in and of itself, constitutes a danger to the peace process and jeopardizes the region’s future,” he said.
The Palestinians are committed to coordinate the pullout so it goes through smoothly and is not executed under fire, Rajoub said.
Ayalon, meanwhile, said the Palestinians fail to understand how deep the rift within Israeli society is when it comes to the disengagement plan.
“The settlers are Zionism’s pioneers, and if we decided their mission has ended we must give them an explanation,” he said. “We have to talk about not only where we’re leaving, but where we’re heading.”
Ayalon also slammed intra-Palestinian understandings reached in Cairo to maintain a lull in violence.
“The Palestinian public doesn’t understand how this agreement pushed back the ability to manufacture a solution,” he said. “Since 1988 (former Palestinian leader Yasser) Arafat never used terms related to the Right of Return the way Abu Mazen (current PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas) used them in the agreement, where it says the refuges will return to their homes and property. This takes us dozens of years back. I’m very scared about what will happen if this taboo isn’t broken.”