Cook sees why this plan would be attractive to the US and Israel. (He notes that Israeli Gen. Yoav Mordechai, who coordinates strategy in the occupied territories, has proposed “a free trade zone and infrastructure projects in Sinai.”) Among other benefits, it would “make permanent the territorial division between Gaza and the West Bank, and the ideological split between the rival factions of Fatah and Hamas”; “downgrade Gaza from a diplomatic issue to a humanitarian one;” “encourage the eventual settlement of potentially millions of Palestinian refugees in Egyptian territory, stripping them of their right in international law to return to their homes, now in Israel”; “weaken the claims of Abbas and his Palestinian Authority, located in the West Bank, to represent the Palestinian cause and undermine their moves to win recognition of statehood at the United Nations”; “and lift opprobrium from Israel by shifting responsibility for repressing Gaza’s Palestinians to Egypt and the wider Arab world.” Why would Egypt take the deal? Because, Cooks says, of “Egypt’s susceptibility to financial inducements.”
Thus the Trump-Kushner strategy may be to destroy, in the name of humanitarianism, any prospect of genuine Palestinian liberation. The effect could be to dump the Gazans in Egypt, effectively if not physically, while Israel continues to gobble up the West Bank.
Bye-bye, two-state solution. Hello, one-state apartheid.