Border Police officers stand guard in Hebron..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
ARTICLE FIVE: SECURITY
Security for the people and states of Israel and Palestine is the most fundamental undertaking of the agreement on permanent peace. The ultimate responsibility for security must be undertaken by two parties themselves.
If there will not be security and total efforts for combating terrorism are not undertaken, there will be little chance of implementing most of the aspects of the peace agreement.
Security will be best provided for through the cooperation and coordination by the security apparatuses of both sides. Palestine will employ a robust security mechanism including national police, intelligence, border police, a counter-terrorism force, a rapid response force and a special (joint) force for Jerusalem. Palestine will not have an air force, navy, artillery or any other offensive capability.
Palestine will hold responsibility for the security of its external borders. For a period of not less than 10 years, agreed-upon numbers of Israeli troops will be deployed in joint forces in agreed-to designated areas and routes under Palestinian command. Israeli early warning electronics surveillance including the deployment of drones over Palestine will be monitored by joint command centers under Palestinian command. During the first five years of the 10-year period (unless changed by agreement) US-trained personnel will monitor the activities of the joint patrols and command centers and verify the successful cooperation of the parties. The US personnel will also be available for and engage in dispute resolution in real time when and if necessary.
Palestinian border police will be trained by the US Homeland Security and TSA and will be fully responsible for managing Palestine’s external borders. For an agreed period of five years, a “fail-safe” mechanism including appropriate online and closed-circuit communications will be established that will enable Israel to delay the entry into Palestine of people or goods for a 24-hour period, during which time US monitors will review the case and determine the validity of the Israeli concerns. Instances deemed valid by the US monitors and disputed by the Palestinian Border Police will be brought immediately to a joint Israeli-Palestinian review mechanism for final determination. US monitors will make the final determination in cases of disputes between the parties.
Both parties have the legitimate right to keep non-wanted persons out of their territory. In general all Israelis and Palestinians should have free access and movement to each other’s territory on the basis of security parameters determined in the security annex. In a state of real peace, people from both sides should be able to gain entry into the other side. It is equally understood that certain people who are considered a threat to security will not be allowed entry into the other side.
There will be a double filtering system on determining who is considered a threat. The first-level filter is the internal one – each side should determine who are the people from their own side who should be denied entry to the other side. Regarding others who have the right to apply for entry, the parties should determine equal and parallel criteria and rules for issuing various types of entry permits. This could include single-day visits, weeklong, month or months or longer. The permits could be for tourism, business, work, health care, etc.
Systems should be established that would enable people crossing borders to get a permit at the border at the time of crossing in the least amount of time possible. This should be the goal for the beginning of the process until the time, hopefully in the future, when restrictions on movement will be completely removed.
Systems should also exist to enable applications for entry permits online. Permits could be printed at home and with encoded applications be verified at the border crossing. Modern technologies should be employed to make the process as easy as possible, including the use of smart phone applications. The basic goal is to facilitate movement efficiently while maintaining a high level of security. There does not have to be any contradiction between rapid and efficient movement through borders and security.
As soon as possible the parties should agree to return to the access of Palestinian vehicles to Israel, taking into account all of the security precautions that are necessary for this to happen. The international community could help to facilitate this by providing additional assistance in the form of security scanners for vehicles, but even in the absence of international support for this purpose, Israel should place those scanners at the agreed border crossing as soon as possible, even prior to the full implementation of all of the agreement.
Possibilities for double visa application – for foreigners entering Israel or Palestine who wish to visit the other side as well. It should be expected that once the Palestinians have control of entry and exit points to the Palestinian states, large numbers of diaspora Palestinians and other Arabs and Muslims will be visiting Palestine regularly and it can be easily assumed that many of them will wish to visit Israel as well. A mechanism should be designed and made accessible for applying for a double visa. This should be an online process for streamlined and quick answers.
Those requiring additional treatment for additional security checks could be referred to consulates and embassies.
ARTICLE SIX: ECONOMIC RELATIONS
Both sides recognize the importance of close economic cooperation between them and will work to foster economic development for the benefits of both peoples. Both sides will work to fully implement the Agreements on Movement and Access.
Within the negotiations on permanent status, both sides will undertake the evaluation of the Paris Protocol on the joint customs envelope and will decide if to continue and to improve the protocol or to reach an alternative kind of economic framework. Until the time that a new agreement on economic relations is reached, both parties will work to fully implement the Paris Protocol in all of its aspects.
ARTICLE SEVEN: WATER AND ENVIRONMENT
Based on the Olso II agreement in which Israel recognized Palestine’s water rights, both sides agree to immediately increase the allocation of water to Palestine by 20 percent until a new water agreement is reached. The new water agreement in the full permanent-status agreement will be based on the principle of equitable water rights and allocations. Both sides will work together for advancing infrastructure and development projects that will increase the amount of water available by all means including desalination, waste water treatment, repair of water networks, etc.
Both sides undertake to work immediately on the advancement of environmental infrastructure projects that cause damage to the environment, especially those which have a cross-boundary nature.
Alternatively (and preferably) a model of full joint water management could be adopted based on the creation of a bilateral public-private partnership not-for-profit company which is responsible for providing for all water needs for all peoples at reasonable prices. The company will run a closed budget and all revenues will be devoted to expanding and improving water delivery systems and increasing the quantity and quality of fresh water for all uses. Water will not have an international identity, all water between the River and the Sea belongs to all of the people in that area on an equal basis. There will be no differentiation on pricing of water by nationality. Differentiation on pricing will exist only by how it is used and not by who uses it. Domestic water will be the cheapest water and made available to all.
The author is the co-chairman of IPCRI, the Israel Palestine Center for Research and Information, a columnist for The Jerusalem Post and the initiator and negotiator of the secret back channel for the release of Gilad Schalit. His new book Freeing Gilad: The Secret Back Channel has been published by Kinneret Zmora Bitan in Hebrew and The Negotiator: Freeing Gilad Schalit from Hamas from The Toby Press.