Geneva Initiative Annexes
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"Is Gaza a ticking time bomb?": A Geneva Initiative public conference in Sderot

This summer's operation left residents in the south of Israel rocket-battered and pessimistic about the future. While politicians mount their campaigns, the situation within Gaza is deteriorating and tension in the south is rising once again. To address these concerns, on December 29th the Geneva Initiative hosted a public conference for hundreds of residents in Sderot right by the Gaza border.

The event featured prominent Israeli and Palestinian speakers, including former Palestinian Minister of Prisoners' Affairs of the Palestinian Authority Hisam Abd al-Razzaq, Israeli General (res.) Giora Inbar, and Brigadier General (res.) Israela Oron.

The three seasoned veterans agreed that the two-state solution is the only viable way to secure long-term peace and quiet in the region. In his address to the public, Gen. (res.) Giora Inbar saluted Mr. Abd al-Razzaq's courage to lead the fight for coexistence despite the years he spent in an Israeli prison. After many years leading Israeli military operations, Gen. (res.) Inbar told the Sderot public that "with military force we will not reach a solution that will ensure my children to build a normal life here. Giving Gazans a reason to live will contribute more to our security than a tank."

Mr. Abd al-Razzaq agreed and advocated for increasing peaceful relations, including increasing work permits, between the two communities. "Extremism on one side feeds the extremism on the other side" he said. "Residents of Gaza have nothing to lose and this must change."

The seminar was organized with the support of the European Union’s Partnership for Peace.