Thursday, November 15, 2012
The man who was killed by Israel may have held the key to a permanent truce, and Israel knew it
Funeral of the leader of the Ezzedin al-Qassem Brigades, Ahmed Jaabari (AP)
This is wat the Israeli newspaper Haaretz writes:
Hours before Hamas strongman Ahmed Jabari was assassinated, he received the draft of a permanent truce agreement with Israel, which included mechanisms for maintaining the ceasefire in the case of a flare-up between Israel and the factions in the Gaza Strip. This, according to Israeli peace activist Gershon Baskin, who helped mediate between Israel and Hamas in the deal to release Gilad Shalit and has since then maintained a relationship with Hamas leaders.
So the attack on Gaza was in order to prevent the ceasefire to take hold?
Baskin told Haaretz on Thursday that senior officials in Israel knew about his contacts with Hamas and Egyptian intelligence aimed at formulating the permanent truce, but nevertheless approved the assassination.
Baskin made Jabari’s acquaintance when he served as a mediator between David Meidin, Israel’s representative to the Shalit negotiations, (the negotiations to exchange the imprisoned soldier Gilad Shalit, AbuP)and Jabari. “Jabari was the all-powerful man in charge. (...)
For months, Baskin sent daily messages in advance of the formulation of the deal. He kept the channel of communication with Gaza open even after the Shalit deal was completed.
According to Baskin, during the past two years Jabari internalized the realization that the rounds of hostilities with Israel were beneficial neither to Hamas nor to the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip and only caused suffering, and several times he acted to prevent firing by Hamas into Israel.
In recent months Baskin was continuously in touch with Hamas officials and with Egyptian intelligence as well as with officials in Israel, whose names he refused to divulge. A few months ago Baskin showed Defense Minister Ehud Barak a draft of the agreement and on the basis of that draft an inter-ministry committee on the issue was established. The agreement was to have constituted a basis for a permanent truce between Israel and Hamas, which would prevent the repeated rounds of shooting.
In the seventies Israel used to kill Palestinians who maintained contacts with Israeli peace activists. It seems that in 40 years nothing has changed.