Middle East Monitor / December 24, 2021
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said yesterday that his “economy for security” plan for the besieged Gaza Strip aims to turn the residents of Gaza, Egypt, and the international community into pressure factors on Hamas to prevent it from increasing its military power and launching operations against Israel.
Speaking at a conference held at the Institute for National Security Studies of Tel Aviv University, Lapid said his initiative aims “to create stability on both sides of the border, security, economically and politically,” adding that the international community and the people of Gaza must know that Hamas’ terrorism is the barrier between them and normal life.”
The conference was attended by former Israeli Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, the institute’s Deputy Director Udi Dekel, Minister of Economy Orna Barbibai, and Director-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Alon Ushpiz.
Lapid, who revealed his plan in September, added that he had spoken in recent months with many international parties, “starting with Egypt, the United States, and the European Union” and explained that “creating a permanent, multi-stage reconstruction path that, if managed properly, will guarantee calm in the Strip as long as construction continues.”
However, the institute’s researchers have set out seven conditions for Lapid’s plan to succeed including stopping the armament of Hamas, along with a pledge and commitment to continuous security calm and preventing the weakening of the Palestinian Authority.
Meanwhile, Eisenkot said during the conference that Israel should deal with Egypt “as a full partner in the solution, not just as a mediator.”