This article was published first by Al-Akhbar
No one can start a political dialogue by ignoring the brutal massacre committed by Israel in the Baptist Hospital in Gaza yesterday. Therefore, the decision to cancel the Amman summit, which was supposed to bring together today the American President Joe Biden, the Jordanian King Abdullah II, the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, was an attempt to contain the public anger that erupted last night. This move also aimed to avoid a greater wave of anger today in all Arab and even Western capitals. Moreover, the decision aims to spare the American president from taking a stance that might not align with the Israeli army that continues its crimes.
While everyone knows that a crime of this magnitude cannot be overshadowed by mere positions, statements, or formal condemnations, no one can speculate whether the West, led by the United States, will use the blood of the hundreds of innocent victims who fell yesterday to bring down the Israeli leaders. It’s worth noting that just hours before the massacre, those involved in Western decision-making were considering scenarios to achieve the stated Israeli goals for this war. A similar situation occurred in Lebanon during the first ten days of the 2006 aggression, with political and diplomatic overtures from the same capitals and their allied forces in Lebanon, demanding the surrender of the resistance.
1. They will announce a “humanitarian truce,” securing a temporary halt in the firing for a few hours, allowing “foreigners” to leave the Gaza Strip via the Rafah crossing. In exchange, a portion of the relief aid will be allowed in, provided that the United Nations oversees the distribution of this aid.
2. Proposals would be crystallized in the context of a “political solution formula.” This is based on an American idea suggesting that if others do not want Israel to continue its military operation, influential Arab countries, especially Egypt, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority, in addition to Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, should agree to a proposal that imposes foreign control over the Strip. This plan aims to disarm the resistance forces.
The American proposal includes unattainable conditions, similar to Washington’s offers during the July war on Lebanon.
3. These capitals should accept the principle of “control” through a decision to reintroduce the institutions of the Palestinian Authority and its forces in the Strip, dissolve all institutions managed by Hamas, and hand them over to the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinian Authority will then receive support to strengthen its military forces in the Strip and manage its military, security, and administrative affairs.
4. To ensure, through a specified mechanism, that the situation doesn’t revert to its previous state. There’s consideration of deploying foreign forces along the border between the Gaza Strip and the occupied territories, expanding the buffer zone between the Strip and its surrounding area, even if it requires the bulldozing of neighborhoods, cities, and camps.
5. A mechanism should be established to ensure the disarmament of the resistance’s missile capabilities and the removal of all infrastructure utilized by the resistance, including the destruction of tunnels.
6. All prisoners should be handed over to the Palestinian Authority, which will oversee the prisoner exchange process with the occupation forces. This should be followed by the immediate release of all civilians, unconditionally.
7. Arab countries should oversee the reconstruction process directly, ensuring that neither Hamas nor other resistance forces benefit from it. Egypt will enforce a new security dynamic, granting it direct oversight over activities within the Strip, meaning Cairo will manage both the security and political situation in the area.
As Western envoys and representatives reiterated various statements circling the same idea, they persistently warned that Israel has devised an expansive military plan aiming to “subdue Hamas and those allied with it in the Strip.” Concurrently, there were intensifying threats against Lebanon and Hezbollah, peaking with leaks from Israeli military intelligence to the media, suggesting that the Israeli government deliberated over a security-military proposal for a substantial preemptive operation against Hezbollah, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declined.
Biden, arriving today, will attend a more intimate meeting of the Israeli government, sharing a table with Eitamar Ben Gvir and Betzalel Smotrich. Later, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who announced a ‘solidarity’ visit to Israel, will join them. They were preceded by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who echoed the Western sentiment towards the supporters of the Palestinians: “Step back and let us unite to suppress Hamas.”
Simultaneously, Israeli leaders discussed the potential ground operation. Reuters cited a senior official stating, “Neutralizing Hamas might span months or even years.” The Israeli National Security Advisor, Tzachi Hanegbi, anticipated that the ‘United States would step in’ if the Gaza conflict escalated to involve Iran and Hezbollah supporting Hamas. Notably, American involvement is evident, given the announcement of placing about 2,000 soldiers on standby to back Israel in its conflict with ‘Hamas’. This bolsters Washington’s capacity for swift response to the shifting security landscape. However, it’s emphasized that ‘there is no current decision regarding troop deployment.’ The National Security Council spokesperson, John Kirby, mentioned that the troop readiness ‘serves as a deterrent signal.’