Smoke rises during what witnesses said were heavy Israeli shelling at the Shejaia neighbourhood in Gaza City Photo: REUTERS

How to end this war

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Israel should issue this offer, or something like it. This is not a proposal for negotiations, but rather a clear Israeli statement of intent. Once the document is issued, President Abbas, on behalf of the National Reconciliation Government can respond. President A-Sisi of Egypt can also use the document to secure the agreement of the parties in Gaza that would either accept it or reject it.

Israel’s offer for ending the war

Carry a big stick that can cause serious pain, but carry an even larger carrot.

If Hamas and the ruling government in Gaza and all of the factions in Gaza cease their fire, then so will Israel.

If Hamas and the ruling government in Gaza agree that a trustworthy international inspection mechanism be placed at border crossings, then Israel will agree to enable free movement of goods in and out of Gaza after clearing security checks. Dual use goods will be strictly monitored to ensure that they are not used for military purposes.

If Hamas and the ruling government in Gaza agree to precise monitoring of building materials so that they are all used for civilian building purposes only, then Israel will agree to allow building materials to enter Gaza.

If Hamas and the ruling government in Gaza obligate not to smuggle weapons into Gaza via the sea, then the fishing area can be opening for 12 miles as previously agreed to, knowing that the Israeli navy will continue to patrol the coastal waters and take all necessary measure to prevent smuggling.

If Hamas and the ruling government in Gaza demonstrates its ability and commitment to prevent attacks against Israel, then Israel will agree to allow farmers to have access to their land alongside the border with Israel.

If Hamas and the ruling government in Gaza agree to demilitarize Gaza, then Israel will demonstrate unprecedented generosity and cooperation in the rapid economic development of Gaza. Israel will immediately upgrade the electricity lines into Gaza that will provide sufficient electricity until power plants in Gaza can be repaired and built. Israel will also make available to Gaza large quantities of fresh water, until water facilities in Gaza can be built. The electricity and water plans can be implemented very rapidly. As demilitarization progress, Israel will facilitate and encourage the rapid deployment of funds in Gaza from an international fund for the reconstruction of Gaza.

If Hamas and the ruling government in Gaza agree to recognize Israel and negotiate peace with Israel, then Israel will be willing to negotiate full peace with Hamas and the ruling government in Gaza including the normalization of relations between the two sides, including the opening of a seaport and an airport under conditions of agreed upon trust worthy international monitoring.

Read more about Gershon’s ideas on how to end this war

Gershon Baskin is co-chairman of IPCRI, Israel-Palestine: Creative Regional Initiatives (IPCRI), formerly known as the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information, a nonprofit think tank that combines research with peace-building actions and advocacy across Israel and Palestine. He is a columnist for The Jerusalem Post and the initiator and negotiator of the secret back channel for the release of Gilad Schalit. His book Freeing Gilad: the Secret Back Channel has been published by Kinneret Zmora Bitan in Hebrew, and The Negotiator: Freeing Gilad Schalit from Hamas by The Toby Press in English.

Gershon Baskin

Gershon Baskin

Gershon Baskin is one of the most recognizable names in the Middle East Peace process. His dedication to creating a culture of peace and environmental awareness, coupled with his impeccable integrity, has earned him the trust of the leaders of all sides of the century old conflict. Few people have such far-reaching and positive impacts on promoting peace, security, prosperity and bi-national relationships.
Gershon is an advisor to Israeli, Palestinian and International Prime Ministers on the Middle East Peace Process and the founder and director of IPCRI, the Israeli-Palestinian Public Policy Institute. He was the initiator and negotiator of the secret back channel between Israel and Hamas for the release of 1,027 prisoners – mainly Palestinians and Arab-Israelis of which 280 were sentenced to life in prison for planning and perpetrating various attacks against Jewish targets that resulted in the killing of 569 Israelis in exchange for one Israeli soldier, Gilad Schalit. Gershon is actively involved in research and advocacy concerning topics such as social policy, environmental security, political strategy, peace education, economics, culture and in the development of affordable solar projects with the goal of providing clean electricity for 50 million people by 2020.
Gershon Baskin