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Israeli foreign ministry urges force deployment in Gaza

By Ians English

Jerusalem, Sep 8: The Israeli foreign ministry had proposed the deployment of an international force in the Gaza Strip in the aftermath of Operation Protective Edge, a daily said here on Sunday.

According to the Ha'aretz daily, the proposal, submitted in a document to a security cabinet meeting Aug 21, called for an international force to be deployed in the strip to help make sure Hamas would not re-arm itself and that funds would go to the rehabilitation of the enclave, which was badly hit by the 7-week operation, Xinhua reported.

The two-page document is classified and was obtained exclusively by the daily. It may play a significant role when Israel and Hamas delegates resume negotiating a permanent truce this month.

The document, written by staff at the Israeli Foreign Ministry, in collaboration with European diplomats, suggests four alternatives to deploy the force -- a European Union force, a western force, a UN force or a NATO force.

The force should monitor the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing connecting the strip with Egypt to make sure no weapons are smuggled, it says.

Israel and Hamas agreed to an unlimited truce Aug 26, ending the operation that started July 8 and claimed the lives of more than 2,100 Palestinians and 70 Israelis.


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