A challenge to the Palestinian leadership to come up with its own initiative.
Emergency situations require emergency means!
President Abbas, Prime Minister Hamdallah and all of the members of the National Reconciliation Government, together with all of the Members of the Executive Committee of the PLO should immediately convene in Cairo and from there travel together to Gaza. They should enter Gaza together and declare an end to the war and that Gaza is now liberated and free under the flag of the State of Palestine. The President, the National Reconciliation Government and the Executive Committee of the PLO would announce that they are in control of Gaza, they call on all of the fighting forces in Gaza to ceasefire. They then call on the international community to convene an emergency session of the Security Council of the UN that would recognize the liberation of Gaza as part of Palestine and would call to convene an emergency international conference to pledge funds for Gaza’s immediate reconstruction. The new ruling authority in Gaza will also call on Egypt and other regional countries to convene a summit to negotiate with Israel the future normal relations between Gaza and Israel, obviously also putting a final end to the blockade of Gaza.
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 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.