The Perry Peace Plan

Dan Perry
2 min readOct 19, 2023

I have a dream: Saudi Arabia makes peace immediately to compel Israel to delay the Gaza invasion, and the whole region including Qatar unites against Hamas and offers Gaza another way forward


The Oct. 7 Hamas massacre has begat two new fixations: Israel will launch a ground invasion of Gaza to remove Hamas from powerף and the expected peace deal with Saudi Arabia is on hold. These are a gift to Hamas and its Iranian backers who want death, destruction and divisions in the Middle East.

In an article in The Hill, I argued Israel can wait with an invasion that even if successful would saddle it with an Iraq-level insurgency as it struggles to run Gaza. Hamas is a criminal mafia and a terrorist group whose eradication would benefit primarily the Palestinians, but there is more than one way to achieve that. My scenario — also debated on I24 (link here) — could have the following contours:

· Israel puts off any invasion in favor of a rapid prisoner exchange to return the 200-odd hostages abducted during the attack. Humiliating and risky, but there appear to be no alternatives.

· Saudi Arabia agrees to a peace deal with Israel, establishing full diplomatic and economic relations as well as free travel in both directions, as was planned. The US provides Saudi Arabia its security umbrella, scuttling Iran’s plan to block all this.

· Kuwait and Qatar are quickly mobilized to join the deal. Like Saudi Arabia, they get credit for preventing the bloodbath in Gaza. Qatar immediately stops funding Hamas; the world has some leverage on Qatar, which just staged a World Cup and wants to be a member in good standing of the community of nations. Isolation and sanctions would be the alternative, justified by the barbarity of the Hamas attacks.

· Israel enters talks with its Sunni peace partners as well as the Palestinian Authority on resolving Gaza. They and the West pull together a massive aid package to fix Gaza, conditioned on Hamas stepping down. This will not happen immediately but pressure will grow; with consensus in the region, the results might surprise.


I have long argued that the situation in Gaza, with Hamas holding 2 million Palestinians hostage there, is not sustainable. This has now become urgent, a global emergency. It would be naive to predict the proposal above will be adopted. But there is nothing naive about suggesting that the region’s players are not obligated to follow preordained idiocies, like marionettes in the human tragicomedy. Instead they can replace the paradigm that is leading to disaster.



Dan Perry

Journalist and comms professional who led the Associated Press in the Middle East, Africa, Europe & Caribbean. Author of Israel & the Quest for Permanence.