If the United Nations decides to recognize the Palestinian state, Gaza will be an inseparable part of it. That is what the Oslo Accords say, and what Abbas will insist on, and no international body will claim differently. Any country that wants to recognize a Palestinian state and establish embassies there cannot avoid opening consulates in Gaza, and any country that wants to establish the foundations of its economy, free trade and freedom of movement will not be able to agree to Gaza’s continuing to be sealed off.
The historic dilemma that Hamas and Fatah will face will be whether to give up the tremendous achievement of international recognition of their country or to reconcile despite themselves. We may gamble that it will be reconciliation, especially because the main obstacle to reconciliation so far, recognition of Israel − not to mention Israel as a Jewish state and of the Oslo Accords − will become irrelevant in light of international recognition of a Palestinian state.
Israel cannot stop this move, even if it freezes construction or turns over additional areas to the PA, because the Palestinians will also be able to negotiate all conditions of an agreement with Israel as an independent state; that is, from a stronger position.
But Israel must ensure that the new state will not be an enemy, even with Hamas as a full partner in its leadership. The first step toward this will be the re-adoption of the slogan “Gaza first.” Lifting the closure on Gaza and opening the borders at Israel’s initiative will only speed up what will soon be dictated in any case. However, these steps could somewhat ameliorate Israel’s standing vis-a-vis the Palestinian state and certainly vis-a-vis the world.