Cutting out US role, new Egyptian-Saudi plan proposes inter-Arab force for Gaza

debkafile‘s military sources report that a new 11-point scheme, just developed by Saudi King Abdullah and Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, provides for the bulk of the 3,000-strong force to be Egyptian. The plan would effectively restore Egypt’s pre-1967 domination of the Gaza Strip.
It will be presented to Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak when he visits Mubarak’s summer palace in Alexandria, Tuesday, Aug. 26.
Hamas is offered a political comeback on the West Bank and a seat on the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO)’s ruling institutions.
When Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s arrives in Jerusalem and Ramallah, Sunday, Aug. 24, she will find this plan already on the table for Egypt (speaking also for Saudi Arabia), Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
If Israel accepted the Egyptian-Saudi blueprint, its 1979 peace treaty with Cairo would have to be revised, especially the demilitarization provisions. A parallel proposal would appoint Jordan as overseer of Palestinian government institutions and security forces on the West Bank.
According to debkafile‘s sources, Saudi King Abdullah this week discussed the plan with the Jordanian king and the Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
They note that this is the most far-reaching Arab regional plan since the Saudi peace initiative was put forward in 2000. If carried by all the parties involved, it would restore certain key elements of their pre-1967 War status to the Gaza Strip and West Bank.
debkafile‘s sources reveal here the 11 points of the new plan:
1. The rival Palestinian Hamas and Fatah must end their vendetta.
2. They will both release prisoners.
3. Fatah fugitives from the Gaza Strip will be allowed to return home.
4. The tit-for-tat bans on Fatah and Hamas institutions in the Gaza Strip and West Bank must be lifted.
5. Hamas must hand Gaza’s ruling institutions back seized two years ago to the Palestinian Authority.
The last six clauses present the toughest challenges.
6. Hamas must suspend the operations of its militia and police forces.
7. Inter-Arab monitors, headed by Egyptian officers, will supervise the Gaza police force.
8. Another panel headed by Egyptian officers will compile a reform program for the Palestinian security bodies in Gaza, effectively removing them from Hamas’ hands.
9. In the interim, until the reform program is implemented, an inter-Arab force of 3,000, commanded by Egyptian security officers, will be in charge of security matters.
10. A provisional Palestinian government will be installed in Ramallah in place of the Salam Fayad administration. It will consist of nonpartisan technocrats acceptable to Fatah and Hamas alike.
11. The PLO’s governing institutions will be overhauled to make room for Hamas representation for the first time.

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