As has been widely noted in Israel, but quite scantly elsewhere in the world, the demand that Hamas be relieved of its lethal missiles has been all but forgotten. Media analyst and policy expert Dr. Aaron Lerner, head of the IMRA news agency, proposes that Israel issue work permits to Gazan Arabs on a one-for-one basis: One work permit for every missile destroyed under supervision.
Based on U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's remarks at the donor conference in Cairo this week, demilitarization of Hamas has basically been removed from the table. "We can and should help the PA," he said, "expand its control in Gaza, streamline Gaza’s workforce, and continue to play a key role in the end-use monitoring mechanism for Gaza. And this is absolutely essential, because as long as there is a possibility that Hamas could fire rockets on Israeli civilians at any time, the people of Gaza will remain at risk of future conflict."
That is to say, only if the PA is enabled somehow to increase its control and play a key role in some sort of monitoring mechanism is there a chance that Hamas might not be able to fire its rockets at Israel.
Dr. Lerner, therefore, proposes that Israel "think out of the box" and propose an initiative "that will at least bring the issue of the missiles to the fore."
Quoting PA news reports that Israel plans to issue work permits for 5,000 Gazans, Lerner suggests, "Instead of giving the permits as a 'freebie,' let’s offer one Israeli work permit for a Gazan in exchange for every missile destroyed under supervision."
He goes even further by offering a "bonus": 100 work permits for the supervised destruction of a complete missile production line.
Lerner lists three advantages to Israel in this idea: "It puts the focus on demilitarization, it pits the Gazan population against those holding the missiles, and it shows that Israel is willing to offer carrots and not just sticks."
Prime Minister Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Lieberman stated frequently, following the summer war in Gaza, that as long as Hamas remains armed, its weapons represent the strongest threat to peace and security in the region.