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Here is a submission by a reader: a suggestion for a peace proposal for Israel and Palestine. Please check it out and be sure to leave your feedback in the commentary or find them on http://apeaceproposal.wordpress.com.
Thanks for the submission reader.
This is draft peace plan for Israel and Palestine. The peace plan can work in practice, now or in the future, but implementation is a challenge. The proposal can be improved but the main points must remain. Details should be left to the two parties and to the international community; to work out suitable arrangements.
All well-meaning suggestions, questions and comments are welcome at email@example.com
- Two states
There will be two independent states. The 1967 borders will be basis for the final agreement but territory swaps will be possible. Eastern Jerusalem will have special, exterritorial status under international rule for five years; if the peace holds it will become part of Palestine. The rest of the city will be in Israel.
The two states should recognise each other and eventually establish full diplomatic relations. Palestine will recognise Israel as the Jewish state.
- International presence in Palestine
There will be large-scale international presence in Palestine; military, police and civilians. It will be indefinite until further arrangement. The international presence will provide security for Israel and Palestine and help Palestinians reconstruct and develop their country.
The bulk of the international personnel should be from the majority-Muslim countries that enjoy diplomatic relations with Israel (at the moment the role of Turkey is unlikely but in future it could be important). Other troops should be led by the UN.
There will be a ‘special representative’ in Palestine, appointed by the UN Security Council and approved by Palestine and Israel. This person will be in charge of the international mission. The special representative will be a good negotiator, respected by the two sides and someone who favours compromise. The special representative will coordinate international presence with the Palestinian government and will also be regularly in contact with the Israeli government; in a manner which will be agreed with the Palestinian government.
As part of the international presence, foreign judges will operate in Palestinian courts in cooperation with their Palestinian colleagues; in order to help, or oversee and train.
There will be mixed police patrols, Palestinian and international, operating in Palestine, including Eastern Jerusalem. The international police will have the same rights as the local force. The mixed patrols will do regular policing and, in addition, focus their efforts on preventing rocket attacks on Israel.
Refugees will to an extent be able to chose where they want to live, as envisaged by the Geneva Accord of 2003.
- The settlers
The settlers in Palestine will be allowed to stay. They will enjoy special status for three years and will be allowed to carry light weapons for protection. During this period they will be looked after by international troops.
The settlers will be entitled to a dual citizenship or permanent residence in Palestine, according to their preference. After three years, they will be able to decide where they want to live.
- The sea blockade
The international military and civilian structures will be in charge of Palestinian territorial waters. The sea blockade will be lifted when Israel is safe; to be decided in agreement with Israel.
- Link between West Bank and Gaza strip
The Palestinians will have a road link between West Bank and Gaza Strip. The two sides will work out mutually convenient arrangement.
- New constitution in Palestine
The Palestinian politicians and people will decide what sort of constitution they want but it is vital that Palestine is a democratic country, where all minorities will enjoy full rights and representation. Foreign legal experts will offer any help.
- EU membership / special partnership
If the two countries are at peace with each other for at least ten years and if they want to, the EU will offer them full membership status or special partnership. Citizens of Israel and Palestine will be able to live and work in the EU and vice versa. If violence returns, the scheme will end; the EU will decide when.
This peace proposal is a beginning; long-term it is up to the two states to work out mutually convenient arrangements. .
There should be a referendum in Israel and Palestine where the people will decide whether to approve the deal.
In addition, the leaders of the two countries should be in permanent contact.
The international community must treat the Israel/Palestine crisis as an absolute priority.