Egypt did not want the Gaza Strip back. At that point peace with any other neighbor was not thought of as a possibility. Other territory captured in the defensive war of 1967 included Judea and Samaria (the West bank) and the Golan Heights.
Israel and the Palestinians have discussed land for peace deals since the first deal was brokered in 1979. The difference, however, is that the Palestinians do not want peace with Israel. The Palestinians want Israel gone.
Egypt had much to gain and little to lose by making peace with Israel. Trade has boosted the Egyptian economy and a stronger army to the North had proven a capability to unleash devastating attacks on the Egyptian military. In 1994, Jordan followed suit and signed a peace treaty. Unlike Egypt, there was no land in this deal. Jordan wanted out of the Palestinian issue and left Israel to contend with Judea and Samaria, captured from Jordan in the same 1967 war.
In 2005, Israel handed over the keys to the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian Authority assumed control that summer, but the happy times for the Palestinians did not last. The peace Israel was hoping for never came. This was the first “trial run” of land for peace with the Palestinians. In 2007, two years later, the terrorist group Hamas started an open civil war with the PA for control of the Gaza Strip. The gruesome attacks bled into the streets as Hamas violently murdered all opposition in the 139 square mile territory.
Rather than leverage that deal for future peace prospects, Hamas used the territory to launch a war against Israel. Over the next two years, Hamas launched thousands of rocket and mortar terrorist attacks against Israel. This is proof that the Palestinians do not want peace, they want Israel gone.
Land for peace worked with Egypt but will not work with the Palestinians. Egypt had something to gain out of a peace deal. The extremist terrorist leaders of both Hamas and Fatah have no desire for peace, though. They want everything. Unless they can get everything, they will continue to evade productive peace talks, as they have since Benjamin Netanyahu took over as Prime Minister earlier this year. Mahmoud Abbas, like his predecessor Yassir Arafat, will continue to say different things in English and Arabic, the Arabic being his honest language of inflammatory hate speech. And, stuck in the middle of a US push for peace and Palestinian violence and resentment, Israelis live in fear of attacks and desire a hopeless peace plan will eventually work.
So, for now, land for peace is not the way to go. Peace for peace is the only talking point Netanyahu and his government should be acknowledging. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and George Mitchell need to realize that the mentality of the terrorists leading the PA. They will continue to lie through their teeth at Israel’s detriment. They have been doing it for decades, why stop now?