Next up: Plan for a NATO force to take over where Dahlan failed
The proposal for deployment of an international force in the Gaza Strip, mentioned by Abbas in talks with Sarkozy on Friday, reflects an attempt by the American administration to revive a plan that was first proposed during the Arafat captivity in 2001, for an international "peacekeeping" force to put down the Palestinian resistance. Al-Akhbar reports: "The proposal by Abbas for deployment of an international force in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank is a revival of an American plan for a 'mandate'", spelled out in a 68-page report by the Army School for Advanced Military Studies (SAMS) in the year 2001, whose implementation is said to have been blocked for various reasons in earlier years, but which is now again a topic of American interest.
Sources said Condoleeza Rice encouraged Abbas to continue promoting the plan for deployment of international forces to permit control of the situation in the Gaza Strip, following [the Hamas takeover]... In fact, at a time when the plan doesn't enjoy Palestinian acceptance, even from the so-called Group of 15 that advise Abbas, the American administration is insisting that this plan doesn't imply the beginning of direct deployment of American troops, but rather the deployment in an international force which NATO would help form. [The Americans also say] this will be one of the tasks that the new Quartet representative Tony Blair will be focusing on, and [that American General Keith Dayton] is undertaking to add details to the plan.The Al-Akhbar reporter outlines the main points of the original SAMS report (20,000 troops, well-armed with weapons and with the argle-bargle of protecting Israeli national security and Palestinian national development and so on), summarizing as follows:
The sources said the American concept for deployment of an international force in Gaza and the West Bank was set down in its basic form earlier as a peace-keeping force with a security mission of ending the armed resistance against Israel. The Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip led to suspension of the idea, but it is now being looked at again following the Hamas takeover of Gaza and the sudden collapse of the PA security apparatus there.(The Jordanian newspaper AlDustour has a very similar report, according to a Palestinian news agency, but I haven't seen it. Needless to say the bloggers and others with Washington connections are maintaining strategic silence, as they have done with the Al-Majd "Action Plan", the Dahlan-intelligence story, and so much else).