Beyond the Two State Solution


The Two State Solution to end the Gaza/Israeli War is dead for a simple reason. There no longer is a “state” in Gaza. The tunnels have largely been destroyed with explosives. When the tunnels collapsed, the apartments, stores, schools, and hospitals above them were destroyed. As the Gaza residents fled their homes, IDF attacked Hamas, destroying apartments, stores, schools, and hospitals where Hamas hid. Israeli tanks and bombing turned the roads of Gaza into rubble. The infrastructure is demolished. There is nothing to return to; no homes, no jobs, no schools, no services.

Israel has sent a message to the world from Gaza. Attack Israel and your cities will be turned to rubble, just as Rome destroyed Carthage. Israel does not want Gaza back. Egypt has built an impenetrable wall to keep the Palestinians out. Israel is building a wall to keep the Palestinians out. There will be no more jobs in Israel for Palestinians. No nations want the Palestinians, which means without fresh thinking, the Palestinians will be existing, like the Haitians, as refugees in their own land, living in tents, for the next 20 years. Israel will accept nothing less than the complete capitulation by Hamas. To the victor go the spoils. Israel will determine the future of Gaza. No decisions will be made without their consent.

Hamas will be destroyed. The Palestinian Authority (PA) will not replace Hamas. It is ancient, corrupt, and impotent. The UN will not replace Hamas - is too biased to be considered. There is no one left to govern Gaza, and nothing to govern.

The old ideas, which have not worked for three quarters of a century, will not work in Gaza. The billions of dollars poured into Gaza by the US, Qatar, and other Middle Eastern nations was squandered by Hamas. Nothing is left. It is time for fresh thinking from outside the box.

Gaza has one asset that has been overlooked for decades. Gaza has 26 miles of waterfront on the Mediterranean. The UAE just formed a joint venture with Egypt to develop a similar sized property on the Ras El-Hekma peninsula, west of Alexandria in Egypt. The UAE paid Egypt $24 billion for development rights and pledged $11 billion for specific projects. This asset is the seed of the solution for Gaza.

The New Gaza Solution

Following the capitulation by Hamas, Israel will own Gaza, just as the Allies owned Germany after WWII, following the defeat of the Nazis. Step One of the New Gaza Solution is the creation of an Interim Ruling Trust comprised of the US, Egypt, Jordan, Saudia Arabia and the UAE. Israel will cede control of Gaza to the Trust under the conditions outlined below.

  1. The Trust will assume immediate control of humanitarian aid to the refugees in Gaza. The Trust will also provide security to protect the refugees in Gaza.
  2. The Trust will declare New Gaza as the World’s first International Peace City whose citizens have forsaken weapons and violence. The Trust will write a new Constitution that guarantees certain rights and benefits to the citizens of New Gaza under the conditions certified by an oath and pledge of citizenship – a first step towards statehood. Under the New Gaza Constitution, citizenship will be granted to those who make three pledges:
    1. A citizen will pledge to forsake ownership or possession of any weapon of any kind, at any time.
    2. A citizen will pledge that New Gaza has a right to exist and survive, at peace with its neighbors, within its existing borders.
    3. A citizen will pledge that Israel, Egypt and Jordan have the right to exist within its borders, at peace with its neighbors.

In exchange for this oath, each citizen will be granted one share in the ownership of all New Gaza land to be managed and administered by the Trust until such time that New Gaza is prepared for its own independence and statehood. New Gaza will be owned by its citizens. Each citizen will inherit the rights outlined in its Constitution. Each citizen will have the right to reside and work in New Gaza under its Constitution. Each citizen will be able to share equally in the bounty of the reconstruction of New Gaza. Schools will teach trades, so that each child will have the opportunity to have a skill, a job and an opportunity for a prosperous future.

The Trust will assume responsibility for the reconstruction of New Gaza which will include rebuilding its infrastructure, permanent housing for its residents, and schools for training of skills, not political indoctrination. The rebuilding of New Gaza will create thousands of jobs, plus income and security for its residents.

The Trust will enter into 99-year ground leases of New Gaza property. Ground lease income will provide New Gaza with a guaranteed future stream of income to fund for the construction of infrastructure and schools. Each joint venture will be obligated to provide a corresponding number of new permanent residencies in exchange for their 99-year lease. For example, if Hilton wanted to build a waterfront hotel on the Mediterranean with 500 rooms, in exchange for the right to build their hotel and receive a 99-year lease, they would be obligated to build 500 dwelling units for New Gaza residents. The joint venture between Egypt and the UAE on similar waterfront land is projected to attract 8 million visitors annually. With 26 miles of waterfront, such a program implanted in New Gaza could cause tens of thousands of housing units to be built in short order.

The Trust will immediately cause to be created a port to allow humanitarian aid and services to protect the refugees until reconstruction can be established. The Trust will negotiate air access through Egypt. Jordan and Israel to support reconstruction.

New schools will focus on training for jobs, not hatred. Priority for constructions and service positions will be given to citizens who have completed training. Citizens, with vested ownership in New Gaza’s future, will no longer be refugees. Citizens will no longer live in occupied territories, or refugee camps. Citizens will have something to believe in and possess something of value.


The Two State Solution is dead. Gaza, as we knew it, is dead. Hamas is a dead man walking. The archaic thinking of the last 75 years is dead. It will take out of the box thinking, and fresh ideas, to rescue the refugees in Gaza from becoming another Haiti, with permanent displacement. Gaza has an asset that is the seed of a solution. The New Gaza Solution is an opportunity to break free from the failures of the past and build a new framework for peace.

>Robert J Cristiano, PhD is a Capstone Professor at Georgetown University, teaching real estate in the Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate Program. He is the Founder of a Virginia non-profit foundation, Sanctuary AP3 Co. whose purpose is to promote the development of affordable housing on the excess land of faith-based organizations in the United States. Cristiano has been a successful Master Developer for 45 years. He has specialized in senior housing and faith-based development since 1984.

Photo: West Bank barrier wall, Jonas Witt via Flickr

under CC 2.0 License.