TEL AVIV Ñ Israel's leading strategic center has detailed a plan for
an international peacekeeping force to maintain any ceasefire in the war
with the Palestinian Authority.
The Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, part of Tel Aviv University,
envisioned the introduction and deployment of United Nations or
international troops in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as a means to enforce
any Palestinian ceasefire. The report, authored by senior researcher Shlomo
Brom, asserted that the Palestinian Authority would be powerless to ensure
that the range of foreign-financed insurgency groups would end attacks
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The report envisioned a multinational force that would resemble that
currently being deployed in Kosovo and East Timor. The mandate of these
forces included restoring order and helping build stability and civil
Brom, a former strategic chief in the military, wrote a report in 1999
that detailed an Israeli unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon. The report was
said to have been studied by then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, who
ordered such a pullout in May 2000.
In December, former U.S. ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk called on the
Jewish state to agree to an international peacekeeping force as part of a
solution to enforce a ceasefire and prevent a reoccupation of the West Bank
and Gaza Strip. The idea has been embraced by at least one senior minister
in the government led by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
The Jaffee report said any international force deployed in the West Bank
or Gaza Strip must assume responsibility for areas from which Israel
withdraws, including border crossings into Egypt and Jordan. The force would
also have to guarantee the security of any expected Palestinian state and
deter the penetration of foreign elements seeking to destabilize the
Palestinian state and operate against Israel.
"Many countries are more willing to participate in missions of this type
for two reasons: one, the traditional threats that their military forces
were designed to deal with have disappeared; and two, these countries have
come to the conclusion that channeling international forces to regional and
local trouble spots extinguishes conflagrations that otherwise could spread
and threaten their own security," the report said.
Brom said that currently the risk of an Israeli withdrawal and
international peacekeepers is greater than the prospect of success. But he
urged the Sharon government to overcome its antipathy to international
guarantees and consider the introduction of peacekeepers as part of a
solution that would include withdrawal and Palestinian statehood.
"The deployment of multinational forces is a complex issue, encompassing
many options for international involvement and demanding much more extensive
assessment," the report said. "Although at present for Israel the risks of
such a force seem greater than the chances of success, it is important that
the potential applications of a solution of this sort be considered