Only an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians regarding the control over the land, air and sea passages in Gaza will permit the international community to acknowledge the end of Israel’s occupation in Gaza, Javier Solana, the EU High Representative for EU Common Foreign and Security, said Tuesday during a meeting with Meretz-Yahad Party leader Yossi Beilin in Jerusalem.
Beilin said the lull in peace talks during elections in Israel and in the Palestinian Authority constitutes a “real danger to both nations.”
Solana’s remarks come amid a new PA initiative that calls on the international community and the U.N. to continue to recognize Gaza as occupied territory.
According to the PA, Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza does not change the area’s legal status, and Israel would still be responsible, from both a humane and legal standpoint, for Gaza and would be obligated to adhere to all the international covenants.
'Gaza, West Bank considered one entity'
An Israeli government source said in response, “Gaza could become Singapore or Hong Kong, and it can also become southern Lebanon and turn into a warehouse for the terrorists’ arsenal.”
“Israel is interested in ending the occupation, but there is a security problem as far as the border crossings are concerned regarding the prevention of weapons-smuggling into the area once we are gone. When Israel will relinquish its control over the border crossings (arch-terrorist) Abu Musab al-Zarqawi will easily be able to enter the Gaza Strip. ” he said.
Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry is gearing up to face the new Palestinian campaign. A Government source told Ynet, “If Israel wants to maintain its control over the Gaza sea and air ports, in addition to controlling the entrances to Gaza – it would make it difficult for us to present the end of the occupation to the international community.”
“All the agreements determined that Gaza and the West Bank should be referred to as one territorial entity. From the Palestinian viewpoint, as long as the West Bank is occupied, so is Gaza,” he said.