Thursday, November 22, 2012

why it's important to understand HUDNA...

Palpress Website referendum response: 64%:36% oppose long-term
Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA  22 November 2012

Palpress Website referendum response: 64%:36%  oppose long-term
Do you support the long-term truce with Israel in the Gaza Strip?
Yes (36%) - 834
No  (64%) - 1451

[This is not a "poll" - it is an internet referendum - and as an internet 
referendum the results are not associated with a particular physical 

IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis

Weekly Commentary Looking At The Text Of The Ceasefire Understanding – Just 
The Facts

Dr. Aaron Lerner Date: 22 November 2012

I want to take this opportunity to review the actual text of the Ceasefire 
Understanding announced yesterday in Cairo and leave speculation as to the 
efficacy of alternatives to PM Netanyahu's decision to accept this 
understanding to other commentators for today.

I do this because it is vitally important to understand what is in fact 
written and not written in the text.

[The text follows this commentary]

#1. The obligation of each party not to engage in "hostilities" is not 
linked to the compliance of the other party.

#2. In point of fact, the agreement explicitly and specifically prohibits 
Israel from the "targeting of individuals" - so that Israel cannot dispatch 
to Paradise a specific terrorist either before, during or after they have 
engaged in an activity against Israel.

#3. The only relief available to a party in the event that the other party 
violates the understanding is to inform Egypt of the violation, with Egypt 
following up on the violation.

#4. While the understanding places no restriction on the importation or 
local manufacture of weapons in the Gaza Strip, it prohibits any Israeli 
activity inside the Gaza Strip against this activity. (Take note:  Prime 
Minister Netanyahu said last night that "the United States and Israel would 
work together to fight the smuggling of weapons to the terror 
organizations".  Mr. Netanyahu did not mention Egypt and in the case of the 
Americans, this relates only to the smuggling of weapons – not their 
manufacture in the Gaza Strip).

I want to make it clear that I am not speculating if Israel will opt to 
violate the understanding and return fire.  I am also not going to 
speculate if Israel will opt to violate the understanding and demolish 
weapons manufacturing and storage facilities.  My point is only that such 
activities are not sanctioned by the understanding.

Which brings us to a disturbing element of the entire concept:

Israel's peace treaty with Egypt is one of the most critical strategic 
assets that Israel has.

Egypt is both the official sponsor of this understanding and, as already 
mentioned above, the party assigned the responsibility to follow up on 
violations of the understanding.

From this point onwards, every decision Israel makes regarding the Gaza 
Strip will have to give considerable weight to the possible impact of that 
decision on the future of the Jewish State's relations with Egypt.

I will leave for others to speculate if Hamas has been deterred or if, 
instead, they will exploit this understanding to prepare in earnest for the 
next round of conflict.

I will also leave for others to speculate if Israel will opt to exercise its 
fundamental sovereign right to defend itself.

I will only reiterate that the text of the understanding that Israel 
accepted last night has no provision for Israel to do anything beyond 
informing Egypt in the event of Palestinian violations and that there is 
absolutely no restriction of any kind on Palestinian military preparations.

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(Mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730

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