EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Given Gaza’s sharp deterioration over the past 25 years – first under the PA’s rule (1994-2007), then under Hamas’s control – it is time to consider a new paradigm for resolving the Strip’s endemic predicament, and by extension the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. That paradigm could entail a Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip and northern Sinai, from Rafah to El-Arish, with the latter territory leased to the Palestinians on a long-term basis.
When a computer gets stuck, it is usually advisable to shut down and restart. In rethinking the strategic reality produced by the Oslo Accords it may be worthwhile to adopt similar approach: to trace the course of the process from its onset while reexamining its underlying assumptions.
Since the British peacemaking attempts of the 1930s, it was taken for granted that the Arab-Jewish conflict problem would be resolved within the boundaries of Mandatory Palestine. In line with this thinking, the Peel Commission proposed in July 1937 to partition the land west of the Jordan River into two separate entities: a Jewish state, and an Arab state that would be united with Transjordan (then ruled by Emir, later King, Abdullah of Mecca).
From then on, the two-state solution was established as the predominant paradigm whereby the various Arab territories and rival factions would be constituted into one Arab state (for his part, Abdullah considered himself ruler of this entity on both sides of the Jordan).