Geneva Initiative Annexes
Geneva Initiative Annexes

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The Role of the International Community

The Role of the International Community
Date: 02.09.07

In view of the decisive role the international community is slated to play in the summit planned for November, it is Geneva Initiative's view that over the next two months, the international community must exercise maximum efforts to bring about the following:

1. The creation of a coalition within the Arab world, which will back steps taken by the Palestinian Authority headed by Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad. Such a coalition should include the Arab League member states and would positively affect the three main players in the Israeli-Palestinian arena:
a. From the Hamas’ point of view, even if it wishes to torpedo Abbas' initiatives and even if it works to counter them, the weight of its arguments and actions will decrease significantly in light of the Arab League's support for the agreement being formulated.
b. The State of Israel will be guaranteed that the Arab League accepts the ideas and actions of the Palestinian leadership, and that these are not held by the current Palestinian leadership alone. This security is important for Israel and will help its leaders "market" the agreement to the Israeli public and may advance relations between Israel and the Arab world.
c. The Palestinian leadership itself will be encouraged to negotiate over the core issues of the conflict, with the entire Arab world backing it up.

2. The introduction of the political perception, according to which the November summit constitutes a milestone in the implementation of the Arab League Initiative. The Arab League has already untied behind the Arab League Initiative, approved it within the Beirut Declaration (March 28, 2002), and ratified it again on March 29, 2007. Therefore, in order to assist the various Arab states in supporting the Palestinian Authority's actions, the summit must be based on the spirit of the Arab League Initiative, and, consequently, it is important that Syria and Lebanon be allowed to participate in it.

3. Encouragement of the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships to arrive at the summit with a comprehensive document of understandings that includes as many permanent status issues as possible. Both sides have in fact addressed the "core issues" since the summit was announced, but there are no substantial negotiations taking place on professional levels leading to a comprehensive document of understandings. Diplomatic activity to encourage both sides to negotiate intensively will increase the chances of a successful summit and prevent a future escalation should the summit fail.

4. The presentation of the potential benefits of reaching an agreement. Israelis and Palestinians are probably aware of the financial and political gains to be made from signing a peace agreement, but tangible commitments from international bodies could contribute to encouraging the parties to reach an agreement and may even ease the process regarding specific (mostly financial) components of an agreement.

5. 

The creation of communication and cooperation mechanisms, either direct or indirect, between Israel and Hamas, which would facilitate a ceasefire between the parties and prevent an escalation that could harm the summit's prospects

. These mechanisms would also be responsible from securing the release of Gilad Shalit, addressing ongoing issues relating to the Israel-Gaza border, preventing a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, facilitating basic financial conditions for Gaza's residents, and enabling the import and export of goods to and from Gaza.