The way through

Mohamed Hegazy
Tuesday 17 Oct 2023

Mohamed Hegazy charts a comprehensive solution to the horror unfolding on the border


The Egyptian National Security Council has laid out a comprehensive strategic framework to address the current crisis and present a political mechanism leading to a two-state solution. The urgent need to halt violence and provide immediate humanitarian assistance is the paramount goal at this stage. From there, we must explore a political mechanism guiding a political solution and a path leading to the establishment of two states. This forms the cornerstone of how to address the current, tragic situation, one that demands a political horizon embraced by all parties and supported by the international community.

The decisions of the National Security Council bear a clear message regarding the rejection and condemnation of policies related to displacement and attempts to resolve the Palestinian issue at the expense of neighbouring states. Egypt’s national security is a red line, non-negotiable, and it must always be safeguarded. The importance of the National Security Council’s call for an international regional summit to address the developments and future of the Palestinian issue must be emphasised.

This summit must involve influential and active regional actors, including Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the Arab League, the United Nations, and the African Union, along with regional parties such as Turkey and Iran. The presence of the Palestinian National Authority, the Israeli government, the United States, Russia, China, and the European Union is crucial. The summit must set a course for resuming the peace process besides ending the tragic scene in which the people of Palestine currently live and die. The urgent delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza should be a priority, followed by reconstruction efforts, which will be overseen by Egypt. Subsequently, this path leads to direct peace negotiations that culminate in national elections in Palestine.

It is imperative to reach a mutually agreed-on regional and international vision that ensures the success of Palestinian elections, followed by the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem. This endeavour will grant the Palestinian people their legitimate rights, end the conflict, and bring about the desired stability in the Middle East.

In conclusion, apart from fruitless peace negotiations in which Israel continuously manipulates the scene, Egypt, as an international facilitator, might propose a solution grounded in the security of all parties to resolve their political and historical crisis. This will guide them towards light and peace, the only feasible answer, which will save both peoples, the region, and the world. Hope can emerge from the depths of tragedy, and through the summit we can shape the future relying on a path to peace in which all parties play an active role, relinquishing the suicidal course and embracing the opportunity for security and peace, which is the only viable answer. That might be outlined as follows:

The International Peace Summit should adopt a resolution to establish a committee chaired by Egypt (with the membership of Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the Gaza government), responsible for providing urgent humanitarian relief.

The committee should oversee the Gaza reconstruction project, with the participation of the UAE and Qatar.

Another committee, comprised of Egypt, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority, should handle security matters in the Gaza Strip and supervise synchronised elections in both Gaza and the West Bank.

A security committee, with the presence of the three countries and a UN representative, should oversee the formal transfer of arms from Hamas to UN facilities, conditional on their return to Hamas if Israel fails to adhere to the peace process (similar to the IRA model in Northern Ireland).

The international community, Israel and the legitimate Palestinian Authority should establish the framework for a referendum on Palestinian statehood.

An Egyptian-Jordanian-Palestinian-Israeli committee, with UN and international oversight, should support the newly formed state, providing economic and legal assistance for the creation of a regional economic entity linking the Eastern Mediterranean, cooperating with the Gulf, Iraq, Turkey, and Iran to establish a common Middle Eastern market.

* The writer is former assistant to the foreign minister and former ambassador to India.

* A version of this article appears in print in the 19 October, 2023 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

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