Palestinians need a caretaker

Sunday, November 12, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres said in a speech given at the Prime Minister’s Conference on Exports that because of the current internal problems within the Palestinian Authority, there is a need to create an outside framework in order to intervene in the process so economic life in Gaza could go on. This eventually will bring an end to the hunger in Gaza and will stop the Kassam fire on Israel.

According to Peres, the new framework should include the Quartet, other European countries, Egypt, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and Israel. This framework should lead a process which will turn Gaza from a battlefield to the negotiating table, and will create dialogue even without full understanding. Peres also indicated that the difficult situation in Gaza necessitates a creation of a new framework which will strengthen Abbas and will create a Palestinian partnership.

Peres said that the new framework will give economic assistance rather than money, which will strengthen the Palestinian economy and will include foreign investments similar to the Turkish initiative in the Erez industrial area, and the creation of a joint industrial area between Gaza and Egypt, as well as the possibility of exporting Palestinian agricultural products through Egypt and not through Israel.

Peres added that there is a need to create a situation where people can live in Gaza. There is a need to create infrastructure and employment. The Egyptians have already shown their interest to assist in that. There is a need to make Abbas and the world more involved in the process in order to reach a position where people can live on both sides of the border.

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