Security / The Gaza Strip
Legacy of 2005 Disengagement
The legacy of the unilateral Israeli disengagement from the Gaza Strip looms over any discussion of security in a two-state solution.
In 2005, the Israeli government evacuated all 8,000 Israeli settlers from Gaza and handed over most territorial responsibility to the Palestinian Authority. Then, in 2007, the terrorist group Hamas took over Gaza, and Israel and Egypt blockaded the territory. In the years following, Hamas and other terror
groups have launched rockets from Gaza, and have fought three wars with Israel.
The Gaza withdrawal has eroded Israeli trust in the notion of “land for peace,” and some fear that a larger withdrawal from the West Bank could lead to another “terror state” on Israel’s borders.
A two-state solution would differ in significant ways from the Gaza disengagement.
The 2005 Israeli withdrawal was unilateral, with no buy-in from the Palestinians. A two-state deal would be negotiated by both sides, requiring them to formally declare an end of the conflict.
The 2005 withdrawal did not grant Palestinian statehood -- it left Israel in control of Gaza’s borders. A two-state solution would address Palestinian aspirations for sovereignty and security.
Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank would be gradual, and phased over several years, depending on the performance of Palestinian security forces.
A two-state solution would likely include international, regional and local security cooperation and assistance to combat terrorism, Iranian aggression and other threats.
Gaza and Security
Vital to Israeli and Palestinian security is the future of the Gaza Strip, home to nearly 2 million Palestinians. Israel and Egypt implemented a military blockade of Gaza in 2007, when the terror group Hamas violently overthrew the PA. Since then, Israel and Hamas have fought multiple wars, killing many on both sides. A combination of abusive Hamas governance, PA neglect, failed reconciliation attempts, and the blockade has exacerbated the humanitarian crisis.
In two-state talks, negotiators have considered that Gaza could remain temporarily outside of an agreement, until Hamas’ authority were replaced by a Palestinian government that recognized Israel and forswore violence. Then, a transition could begin as it would in the West Bank, with Israel and Egypt relaxing security control of Gaza as Palestinian forces increased their presence.