|Olmert changes mind on EU Gaza force|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Friday, 08 December 2006 17:00|
|A couple of days ago I said that the Israeli Prime Minister would have to start listening to the European Union as a consequence to a politically weakened United States. Today it seems that prediction has come true. Ehud Olmert previously stated he was opposed to "Spanish" interference in the Middle East peace process, and that Israel preferred to negotiate directly with the Palestinians. Last month, Spain, France and Italy had proposed a new Middle East peace plan, one which addressed the Israeli hostage issue, would have established a ceasefire and the Palestinian unity government, and the eventual creation of a Palestinian state. The plan was accepted by Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority, and has been reviewed by the United States and Javier Solana, the High Representative for the European Common, Foreign and Security Policy. European Union MEPs, and Javier Solana also called last month for an international peace keeping force to be sent to Gaza in order to keep the peace. There may be a certain sarcasm in Olmert's statement, but it seems he may be shifting his position on EU forces patrolling the Gaza border. |
Quote: ""If Italy is prepared that its army will be engaged on a daily basis against terrorist actions of Hamas, the Islamic Jihad and the other terrorist organizations operating in Gaza, this is very interesting news. I want to learn it," Olmert said, speaking in English. Italy is one of the largest contributors to the expanded UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon that was deployed to monitor the cease-fire between Israel and Hizbullah. Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema has said that an international force for Gaza should have UN authorization, and that Italy would be ready to contribute.
That's where I believe Olmert is wrong. Palestinian terrorist organizations aren't stupid enough to attack European Union forces. If they did, they would soon find themselves internationally isolated and financially bankrupt. A few days ago the European Union revealed its aid to Palestinian institutions was the highest it's ever been, despite the embargo on Hamas. Last year this stood at around 600 million Euros annually. The Palestinians aren't going to risk losing that money. And coupled with Hamas' intended tahdiah for 2007, EU forces on the border of Gaza is possibly the only solution that will guarantee a measure of peace for both sides. This of course is the exact situation described in the book of Daniel, over 2500 years ago.
Source YNet News