Israeli foreign minister suggests the UN take control of Gaza

 

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Monday suggested that Israel and the Palestinian Authority consider transferring control of the Gaza Strip to the United Nations, Haaretz reports.

“Everyone is asking, what happens after the operation ends? Suppose Israel defeats Hamas. There are a few options. International control of Gaza, by the U.N., should certainly be considered,” he said to the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

Lieberman highlighted previous instances in which either the region was overseen by another government, such as the early-to-mid 20th century British Mandate over Palestine, or the U.N. mandates in Kosovo or Timor.

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"We saw it works quite well there," he said. "It requires an agreement between us and the Palestinian Authority. It doesn't require consent from the U.N., just from the parties involved–Israel and the P.A." 

Lieberman explained Israel could strike an agreement, defeat Hamas or accept limbo in which Hamas fires at Israel and Israel doesn’t respond.

“The third option, limbo, is irrelevant — that way you leave Hamas with the initiative of when to open fire. It controls the height of the flames and you just respond,” he said.

The Israeli official’s comments come the same day Israel instituted a seven-hour humanitarian cease-fire for all parts of Gaza except for Rafah, where Israeli Defense Forces are continuing their operation to destroy Hamas-built tunnels that lead into Israel.

Israel, however, was accused of violating the cease-fire after Israeli forces struck a Gaza beach camp that injured 30 Palestinians, according to multiple reports.

In Jerusalem, Israeli police were investigating what it deemed a terror attack in which someone took a tractor and overturned a passenger bus. A police spokesman tweeted that the terrorist was shot and killed by a police officer at the scene.

On Sunday, meanwhile, the Obama administration issued its strongest statement yet, condemning Israel for the shelling of yet another United Nations-run school in Gaza. It was the seventh U.N. school in which civilians were caught in the crossfire.