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Gaza Is Not Egypt

Despite its 2005 disengagement from Gaza, Israel still controls the Strip's land, naval and aerial borders, This means it remains responsible for the economic and humanitarian situation of its residents, writes Akiva Eldar.
Palestinian school girls look at destroyed buildings from their school, which witnesses said was damaged in an Israeli air strike, in Gaza City November 24, 2012. Israel eased restrictions on Gaza fishermen on Saturday, further implementing a three-day-old truce brokered by Egypt after a week of fierce fighting, Palestinian officials said. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinian children headed back to school for the first time in 10 days, in another indication normal life was returning after cross-border viol

The last round of violence between Israel and Hamas, which ended with yet another cease-fire, took place on a backdrop of stormy internal discussions in Israel regarding a permanent solution to the conflict with the Palestinian side. Israeli and Palestinian politicians and thinkers who supported the two-state solution on the basis of the 1967 borders have concluded that the Oslo process has reached the end of its usefulness and that other solutions must be found. Prominent leftists and the liberal right propose the application of Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank and the transformation of Israel from a Jewish state to a bi-national one.

In the wake of the 2010 Gaza Marmara flotilla affair, Haaretz editor-in-chief Aluf Benn wrote that Israel must exploit the crisis in order to complete the disengagement from the Gaza Strip and "leave Hamastan to its own devices." According to Ben's plan, Israel should inform the international community that it divests itself of all responsibility for the Gaza residents and their welfare, hermetically seal the border crossings between Israel and the Strip and ensure that Gaza receives supplies and medical services via the Egyptian border.

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