Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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DAILY ALERT

December 9, 2005

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In-Depth Issues:

Gaza Poll: Hamas 45%, Fatah 36% - Khaled Abu Toameh (Jerusalem Post)
    A Palestinian public opinion poll this week showed that nearly half of the residents of the Gaza Strip were planning to vote for Hamas in the parliamentary elections. The poll gave Hamas over 45%, while Fatah received only 36%.
    Unlike Fatah, Hamas has chosen many university teachers, physicians, pharmacists, lawyers, journalists, and accountants as its representatives in next month's parliamentary elections, in which Hamas is participating for the first time.
    "Hamas's candidates are much better than most of our candidates," admitted a top Fatah official in Ramallah. "Most of our candidates are political activists, former security prisoners, and commanders of armed groups."

    See also Hamas "Mother of Martyrs" Runs in Palestinian Poll - Nidal al-Mughrabi (Reuters)
    Mariam Farhat, 56, an icon of the Palestinian uprising - three of her sons died fighting Israel - will join a Hamas slate to contest a legislative election in January.
    Hamas's choice of Farhat is seen by Palestinian analysts as a sure vote-winner.
    Hamas is sworn to Israel's destruction.


Israel HighWay
- December 8, 2005

Issue of the Week:
    Israel's Election Campaign Begins

Israeli Navy Quits Sending Ships through Suez Canal - Arieh O'Sullivan (Jerusalem Post)
    The Israel Navy has decided to cease sending its missile ships and patrol boats through the Suez Canal, out of concern they will be targeted by global jihad terrorists, a senior naval officer said.
    Periodically, the navy would bring its Red Sea vessels through the canal for service in Ashdod or Haifa and return them.
    According to the Egypt-based Business Today, Egypt gained $3.3 billion in canal receipts in the 2004-2005 fiscal year, as the canal handled 7% of the world's seaborne trade.
    The decision by the navy should be a warning for Egypt: "The question is, what does it say about our confidence in the Egyptian security services?" asked Michael Oren, a senior fellow at Jerusalem's Shalem Center.


Breach in the Wall - Danny Rubinstein (Ha'aretz)
    The crossing point in the separation fence between Baka al-Garbiyeh, in Israel, and the West Bank villages of Nazlat Isa and Baka al-Sharkiyeh is the closest such point to Ilar, the West Bank village that was the home of Jufti Abu Sa'ada, who blew himself up outside the Netanya mall on Monday, killing five Israelis and wounding dozens.
    The three villages are effectively a continuous urban area, densely built, in which the homes are divided by the separation wall.
    The suicide bomber in Netanya had dozens of possibilities to enter Israel. He may have entered through the Baka al-Garbiyeh checkpoint.
    In the West Bank, tens of thousands of people will always come through the crossing points of the walls and the fences every day.
    Even if the fence is completed according to the defense establishment plan, it will not be able to block the next suicide bomber.


Shelling Gaza Smartly - Arieh O'Sullivan (Jerusalem Post)
    A senior officer warned not to be flippant about the IDF's bloodless shelling of Gaza Strip rocket launching sites.
    While the rocket or mortar operators have not been hurt, "they never return to the site that we shelled," he said.


Zarqawi: Profile of a Killer - Loretta Napoleoni (Foreign Policy)
    There are hundreds of men just like Abu Musab al-Zarqawi throughout the Arab world, committed jihadists with some penchant for leading others.
    Zarqawi, with a $25 million bounty on his head, has replaced Saddam Hussein as the poster boy of evil in the Arab world.
    Uneducated and from a poor, working-class family, Zarqawi lacked the pedigree, connections, and financing that marked bin Laden and other senior al-Qaeda leaders.


U.S. National Guard Begins Exchange with Israeli Forces - Master Sgt. Bob Haskell (Army News Service)
    A delegation of 25 U.S. National Guard leaders visited Israel last month to forge a new relationship with that country's Home Front Command - to help keep both countries safe.

    See also South Florida Police Get Terrorism Training in Israel - Nicole T. Lesson (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
    For a week, three members of the Pembroke Pines police department's anti-terrorism and intelligence unit trained 12 hours a day with law enforcement experts in Israel on how to identify, handle, and prevent possible threats.
    "It was invaluable; you can't put a price on it," said Sgt. Jim Gort. "Everyone we talked to had at least two or three real-life scenarios. They would say, here is what happened, the response, and how we mitigated the circumstances."
     Training topics included stopping and confronting a suicide bomber, VIP security, and protecting critical infrastructures.
    The $9,000 training effort was funded through a Department of Homeland Security grant.

    See also Learning to Treat Mass Casualty Disasters in Israel - David M. Novick (Dayton Jewish Observer)
    I and 17 other health care professionals took the fifth Annual Emergency Response Group (ERG) course for mass casualty disasters, given at Western Galilee Hospital in Nahariya, Israel, on Sept. 18-22.
    Lectures on the initial assessment and management of trauma patients were followed by procedure drills using mannequins.
    We also had lectures on chemical and biological events, earthquakes, disaster planning at the hospital, local, and national levels, and the psychological aspects of mass casualty disasters.
    A highlight was a mass casualty drill in which young acting students served as patients or hysterical family members.


Israel Offers Free Eye Treatment - Bibich N. Maloba (Cameroon Tribune)
    Two Israeli medical ophthalmologists are in Cameroon to perform eye surgeries, part of a program now in its fifth year.
    Dr. Eedy Metzer and Rina Leibo from the Rambam University Hospital Center will be in the country for two weeks, providing check-ups and free surgeries to patients suffering from eye problems.


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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

  • Move Israel to Europe, Iran Leader Suggests
    President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran expressed doubt on Thursday that the Holocaust took place and suggested that Israel be moved to Europe. "If the Europeans are honest, they should give some of their provinces in Europe - like in Germany, Austria or other countries - to the Zionists, and the Zionists can establish their state in Europe."
        Raanan Gissin, a spokesman for Prime Minister Sharon, said Ahmadinejad's words were an example of a consensus in some parts of the world that Jews "do not have the right to establish a Jewish, democratic state in their ancestral homeland." The White House spokesman, Scott McClellan, said, "It just further underscores our concerns about the regime in Iran, and it's all the more reason why it's so important that the regime not have the ability to develop nuclear weapons." (Reuters/New York Times)
        See also Ahmadinejad's Comments Provoke Condemnation - Paul Hughes
    Ahmadinejad's comments provoked quick condemnation. German Chancellor Angela Merkel called them "totally unacceptable" and British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said, "I condemn them unreservedly. They have no place in civilized political debate." (Reuters)
  • Israel Denounces Palestinian Lawsuit against Ex-Shin Bet Chief
    Israel on Friday denounced a lawsuit filed by Palestinians against a former Israeli security chief. The lawsuit, filed Thursday in New York federal court, said former Shin Bet director Avi Dichter is responsible for a July 2002 airstrike that killed 15 people in the Gaza Strip including Salah Shehadeh, a top Hamas operative wanted for masterminding suicide bombings. "We see this as a cynical manipulation of the courts by groups with extremist agendas," said Mark Regev, spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry. (AP/Newsday)
  • Egyptians Rue Election Day Gone Awry - Michael Slackman
    If Egypt's parliamentary elections were supposed to be an exercise in democracy, they instead served as a reminder of the unyielding, unchecked power of the state. After the banned Muslim Brotherhood began whittling away at the governing party's monopoly on power, police officers in riot gear and others in plainclothes and armed civilians working for the police began blocking polling stations, preventing supporters of the Brotherhood from casting their votes. Results of the election showed that the Muslim group had increased its representation in Parliament to 88 members from 15, while the governing National Democratic Party retained the vast majority of the 454 seats. (New York Times)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • IDF Soldier Stabbed to Death at Checkpoint - Jonathan Lis
    Nir Kahana, 20, was killed by a Palestinian at the Kalandiya checkpoint north of Jerusalem Thursday. "The Palestinian arrived at the crossing and during his security check pulled a knife from his bag and stabbed the soldier. The soldier died instantly," the army said. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades of Fatah claimed responsibility for the attack. (Ha'aretz)
        See also Slain Soldier Insisted on Serving at Crossings Unit - Ahiya Raved (Ynet News); Crossings Unit Suffers First Casualty - Hanan Greenberg (Ynet News)
  • Palestinian Carrying Two Bombs Caught at Checkpoint
    A Palestinian teenager was detained by security forces Friday after troops discovered that he was carrying two pipe bombs. The youth aroused suspicion at the Hawara checkpoint near Nablus because he wore a heavy jacket despite the unseasonably warm weather. He said he had been sent to pass the bombs to Palestinian terrorists waiting on the opposite side of the checkpoint. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Two Palestinian Terrorists Killed in Israeli Air Strike in Gaza - Arnon Regular and Jonathan Lis
    An Israel Air Force missile struck a house in the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday, killing two Palestinians and wounding six others, Palestinian sources said. The army said the target was a senior member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades who was responsible for "numerous terror attacks against Israeli targets." (IDF/Ha'aretz)
  • U.S. "Not Pressing" for Gaza-West Bank Convoys - Hilary Leila Krieger
    The U.S. hasn't applied pressure on Israel to resume talks over establishing convoys for Palestinians between the Gaza Strip and West Bank, despite having brokered an agreement calling for them, diplomatic officials said Thursday. Israel suspended work on the issue following Monday's suicide bombing in Netanya. Prime Minister Sharon's spokesman Raanan Gissin said that "there's no pressure" on Israel from the Americans to return to discussions about meeting the deadline for the convoys. Gissin said the convoys issue would only be taken up after PA action against terror: "The whole discussion of operating this new arrangement will be delayed until the Palestinian Authority is serious about fighting terror," he said.
        U.S. Assistant Secretary of State David Welch, who arrived in Israel on Thursday, told Israeli officials, "If the Palestinian Authority won't deal with terror, someone else should," according to Israeli sources familiar with the conversation. An American official described Abbas's need to crack down on terror as the primary focus of Welch's visit. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

    Israel to Join the International Red Cross

  • The Symbol Israel Must Adopt to Join the Red Cross Is a Disgrace - Editorial
    After almost six decades of rejection, Israel saw the road cleared Thursday for its emergency and disaster relief organization to join the International Red Cross. The price of admission was relinquishing its symbol, the Red Star of David. Instead, the Red Cross approved a new "neutral" symbol - a Red Crystal. The Star of David may still be used at home, and on foreign missions it can be put inside the Crystal, provided the host country agrees. If that's a victory, we'd hate to see a defeat. Muslim countries refused to adopt the Red Cross, and instead chose the Red Crescent, the only other recognized symbol. It's a disgrace that the Star of David, which symbolizes the faith that spawned both Christianity and Islam, is excluded. (Wall Street Journal, 9Dec05)
  • Message to Red Cross: About Time - Editorial
    It really is too bad that Syria and a number of other Arab states are still fighting the same tired old battles they've waged since 1948 to keep Israel out of international organizations. Damascus, for example, still seems to think it's worth spending its rapidly dwindling diplomatic capital on trying to bar Israel's entry into the relief agency movement represented by the Red Cross and Red Crescent symbols. We're just glad the rest of the world has finally come to its senses and approved a step that will allow Israel to become a member. It is long overdue. (New York Times)

    The Palestinians

  • The Hope that Turned False - Ze'ev Schiff
    The election of Mahmoud Abbas after the death of Arafat was a breath of fresh air to anyone who expected new political moves between the Palestinians and Israel and negotiations without bloodshed. Abbas is far from being a supporter of moderate Zionist ambitions, but he reached the conclusion that the Palestinian struggle for achieving independence cannot be conducted through terror. But the more time passes and the suicide bombings as well as rocket fire of Kassams from Gaza following the disengagement continue, there's no sign that Abbas is ready or able to take real steps against terror organizations like Islamic Jihad. He hasn't even begun collecting weapons as he promised in the road map.
        So there's no other conclusion than that in effect there is no positive meaning to Abbas's leadership. He's not contributing to freeing his people from the swamp in which they have sunk. His leadership does not contribute to peace, and weakens his supporters in Israel. Abbas is wasting, or has wasted until now, the historic opportunity that befell him.
        It is very difficult to understand his apathy toward Islamic Jihad's terror activity. In this way, he contributes to the anarchy in Palestinian society, to gangland rule. Islamic Jihad is a small organization that is not interested in the elections, and wants to continue with its terror activity and war against Israel into the future. Nonetheless, the PA chairman is not ready to risk taking action against it. With his weak leadership, Abbas is responsible, even if indirectly, for the deterioration and suffering that always follows a terror attack.
        Israel must wait for another individual to head the Palestinians, a braver leader that might arise after the elections. (Ha'aretz)
  • And the Big Loser Is...Mahmoud Abbas - Barry Rubin
    The fact that the Palestinian national movement is collapsing and its leaders are paralyzed is the single most important fact dooming any hope of Middle East peace for years to come. In the Fatah primaries, relative moderates were roundly defeated by those engaged in terrorism. Abbas's regime has been unable to impose order in the Gaza Strip after the Israeli withdrawal, and there is no reason to believe this will change. It is making no serious effort against corruption or to stop terrorist attacks against Israel. Could it possibly be clearer that Abbas is the Palestinian leader in name only and is incapable of negotiating any agreement with Israel or implementing anything he promises?
        The takeover of control over the Gaza-Egypt border is actually hurting Abbas. The PA's border controls are a joke, and both terrorists and weapons are passing through freely. Yet Israel is not the one most endangered by this situation. Israel can defend itself far better than can the PA from an influx of Palestinian terrorists.
        It is too late for the nationalists to crush the Islamists, even if they decided to do so. Whether Hamas will actually take over the Palestinian movement - I think it won't - it is setting the agenda and intimidating anyone advocating moderation. Within the next two months, local and parliamentary elections are going to confirm Hamas's new leverage. (Globe and Mail-Canada)
  • The Key is in the Hands of the West - Moshe Elad
    It is naive on the part of the U.S. and Europe to think that 100 bloody years of conflict between the Zionist and the Arab national movements, and three decades of a violent struggle between Israelis and Palestinians, will come to an end only by encouraging the election of Marwan Barghouti and his gang. At the end of January we will discover that Israel's new partner is very democratic, but also very extremist in its demands.
        Therefore, the key will once again be in the hands of the West. All the means of pressure available there - from severing diplomatic ties to stopping the transfer of money - must be applied to the democratic leadership that is about to arise in the Palestinian Authority, in order to force it to be flexible, to compromise, and to talk peace. Otherwise, the next leader to conduct the negotiations with Israel will be as democratic as Yasser Arafat and as liberal as Izz al-din al-Qassam. (Ha'aretz)

    Other Issues

  • Man for a Glass Booth - Charles Krauthammer
    Although Saddam Hussein deserves to be shot like a dog, we nonetheless decided to give him a trial. First, to demonstrate the moral superiority of the new Iraq as it struggles to live by the rule of law. Second, and even more important, to bear witness. War crimes trials are, above all and always, for educational purposes. This one was for the world to see and experience and recoil from the catalogue of Hussein's crimes, and to demonstrate the justice of a war that stripped this man and his gang of their monstrous and murderous power.
        It has not worked out that way. Instead of Hussein's crimes being on trial, he has succeeded in putting the new regime on trial. The lead story of every court session has been his demeanor, his defiance, his imperiousness. The evidence brought against him by his hapless victims made the back pages at best. Why have we given him control of the stage? With every appearance, he dresses more regally, carrying on as legitimate and imperious head of state. What kind of message does that send to Iraqis who have been endlessly told that Hussein and his regime were finished?
        If anything, Hussein should be brought in wearing prison garb, perhaps in shackles, just for effect. And instead of the press being behind a glass wall, it is Hussein who should be placed in a glass booth, like Eichmann, like some isolated specimen of deranged humanity, symbolically and physically cut off from the world of normal human values.
        Both President Bush and his opponents in Congress are incessantly talking about "benchmarks" to guide any U.S. withdrawals from Iraq. But there is one benchmark that is always left unspoken: We cannot leave until Saddam Hussein is dead, executed for his crimes. As long as he is alive and well-dressed, every Iraqi will have to wonder what will happen to him and his family if Hussein returns. Only Hussein's death will assure them that he will not return. (Washington Post)
  • Getting Ready for a Nuclear Iran - Henry D. Sokolski and Patrick Clawson
    As Iran edges closer to acquiring a nuclear bomb and its missiles extend an ever darker diplomatic shadow over the Middle East and Europe, Iran is likely to pose three threats. First, Iran could dramatically up the price of oil by interfering with the free passage of vessels in and through the Persian Gulf as it did during the 1980s or by threatening to use terrorist proxies to target other states' oil facilities. Second, it could increase the pace and scope of terrorist activities against Iraq, Saudi Arabia, other Gulf states, Israel, and other perceived supporters of the U.S. Finally, it could become a nuclear proliferation model for its neighbors. (Strategic Studies Institute-U.S. Army War College)
  • U.S., Israel Assess Syria's Future - Ron Kampeas
    The U.S. already is thinking about a post-Assad Syria as a building block in its efforts to spread democracy in the Middle East. But Israel fears Assad's departure could make the situation even worse, though it doesn't believe Assad is going anywhere soon. At a U.S.-Israel strategic dialogue session last week, Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said Assad's departure could be "transformative" and could even lead to elections. However, Moshe Maoz, a Hebrew University scholar considered Israel's foremost Syria expert, marveled at the American confidence about a peaceful post-Assad Syria. Even if democracy does rise in Syria, there's no way of predicting which party would emerge triumphant, Maoz said. (JTA)
  • Deport Al-Arian - Editorial
    Instead of staging a costly second trial on the remaining counts, the government should begin deportation proceedings immediately. Al-Arian is a legal resident but not a citizen of the United States. New federal law makes associating with a terrorist group a deportable offense. This country has no place for zealots who train and equip suicide bombers. Let Al-Arian take his "pride" for such despicable actions to a country that shares his philosophy. (Bradenton Herald Today)
  • Bush's Radar Skips Israel - Sidney Zion
    President Bush, in back-to-back speeches defending the Iraq war, has crossed Israel off the list of countries hit by Islamic terrorists. In his address this week to the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, Bush said: "The terrorists in Iraq share the same ideology as the terrorists who struck the United States on Sept. 11, blew up commuters in London and Madrid, murdered tourists in Bali, killed workers in Riyadh, and slaughtered guests at a wedding in Amman, Jordan." How could Israel fail to make the President's cut? Especially after a suicide bomber killed five and wounded 60 in Netanya on Monday. Not to mention that Israel has been the prime target of terror forever. (New York Daily News)
  • Fallaci: Warrior in the Cause of Human Freedom - Robert Spencer
    Journalist Oriana Fallaci spoke Monday in New York about how Western nations are selling their own homelands and culture to their mortal enemies. Fallaci noted that many other groups have assimilated into European societies, but Muslims have not. "They want to impose on us their own habits and way of life. They have no intention of integrating with us. On the contrary, they demand that we integrate with them." Fallaci said that Europeans - French, Dutch, Germans, English, Italians - are about to reach the status of the Comanche, Cherokee, and Sioux: "We will end up on their reservation." She noted that some Muslim spokesmen, confident of their imminent supremacy, already refer to non-Muslim Europeans as "indigenous people" or "aboriginals."  (FrontPageMagazine)

    Weekend Features

  • Israel's Image Not So Terrible - Eytan Schwartz
    The heroes of these stories are not polished diplomats or experienced spokesmen, but just plain old good middle Americans, lovers of Zion who encountered anti-Israel sentiment and decided to fight it. I meet people like this almost every day - ordinary folks who love Israel and who fight to defend its honor.
        Syracuse University, in upstate New York, suspended its Israel program, apparently simply to be on the safe side. But one especially stubborn undergraduate, Carly Mangel, decided to fight it. Together with friends, Carly wrote to the university administration, sent emotional letters from students who wanted to study in Israel, and kept an entire file of documents, reports, and recommendations from various people who called upon the university to change its policy. Three weeks ago, Syracuse decided that it isn't actually so dangerous to study in Israel, and its students could once again study there.
        Several years ago in Florida, members of a small but active Jewish community noticed that the local paper's coverage of Israel had a decidedly pro-Palestinian slant. They began to clip articles, count news reports, assess headlines, and check photos: for every pro-Israel article, the paper had 4-5 that showed Israel in a negative light. Israelis were always the aggressors, Palestinians always the victims. Community members met with the editors, presented the articles that had appeared, and asked for fairer coverage. They showed the editors statistics about terrorism, presented the Israeli point of view, and tried to explain the complexity of the situation. Wonder of wonders, not only did the editors promise to be more careful, but in fact, gradually, over the course of months, community members began to see a change. The writer is the winner of the Israeli reality TV show "The Ambassador." (Ynet News)
  • Five WWII GIs Receive Medals from Israel - Emily Arthur
    When Maynard Hanson of Aberdeen, S.D., traveled to Germany, Austria, and France last spring, the 79-year-old and a group of World War II veterans made quite an impression on an Israeli woman. While there, they visited a concentration camp they passed through during the war and they attended various ceremonies the woman also attended.
        "Her father was once one of the concentration camp inmates," said Hanson, a World War II veteran from the 65th Infantry Division. "We walked through that very camp during the war. As we were walking through, we walked by a bunch of bodies. One of the guys noticed one of the corpses had movement in his eye. He pulled him off the pile and we immediately got him to the hospital." "He was that lady's father," Hanson said.
        The lady was Miriam Griver-Meisels, president of Hadassah Israel. Griver-Meisels was impressed by the soldiers, who had traveled back to the area and shown such respect. On Nov. 11, Veterans Day, five men - Hanson of Aberdeen, Ray Callanan of Farmington, Mo., Robert Patton of Chapel Hill, N.C., Mickey Dorsey of Johns Island, S.C., and Lynn LaBarre of Diamond Head, Miss., who is now deceased - had medals and commendations presented to them at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, a living memorial to the Holocaust in New York City, by Amir Ofek, consul for public affairs from the Israeli Consulate. (Aberdeen [South Dakota] News)
  • Employer Who Saved Jews from the Nazis - Sue Cameron
    Frits Philips, the former head of Royal Philips Electronics who died on Monday at the age of 100, helped save the lives of hundreds of Dutch Jews during the Second World War after the Nazis forced him to open a factory in a concentration camp near Eindhoven. In a Schindler-style operation, 382 out of the 469 Jewish workers there survived. Later, Philips was awarded the Yad Vashem medal by Israel. (Financial Times-UK)
  • Pursuing Evil to the Grave - Daniel Jonah Goldhagen
    The Holocaust ended 60 years ago. Many undoubtedly wonder why John Demjanjuk, now 85, should not be left in peace. No one should shed a tear for Demjanjuk and the other mass murderers, even if they are now elderly. They committed unsurpassable crimes, willfully torturing and slaughtering unthreatening, defenseless Jewish men, women, and children by the tens of thousands. There is no statute of limitations for murder in this country, and, recognizing the historic nature of the Holocaust, the German Parliament repeatedly voted to extend the statute of limitations for murder there as well. Legally, the perpetrators' culpability for their willful crimes is beyond doubt. Is it any less clear morally?
        That Demjanjuk and others escaped justice for decades, many rejoicing over their crimes, should not earn them a permanent "get out of jail" card. Eluding criminal punishment and living well after murdering so many, and while one's surviving victims bear their scars every day, is no argument for being allowed to continue to elude punishment. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Observations:

    Military and Security Implications of Israel's Disengagement from the Gaza Strip - Moshe Sharvit (Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies-Tel Aviv University)

    • Israel's disengagement from the Gaza Strip created the first homogenous contiguous area entirely under Palestinian control, with no Israeli presence whatsoever. Thus far the PA has not been able to gain hold over all the armed Palestinian organizations. Groups such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, and others will likely retain their operational capabilities and continue to constitute the major source of threat against Israel, as long as their capabilities are not diminished by Israel itself.
    • Western countries appear to regard Israel's military withdrawal, and especially its evacuation of settlements, as substantially diminishing the legitimacy of continued Palestinian attacks against Israel from within the Gaza Strip. As a result, harsh Israeli military responses to Palestinian attacks originating from the Gaza Strip are deemed legitimate and understandable, as long as they do not exceed reasonable proportion.
    • Israel's relinquishment of control over the Gaza Strip border with Egypt may very well make the smuggling of weapons into Gaza and of Palestinian operatives into Sinai significantly easier than it was before the disengagement. The experience of the first few post-disengagement weeks is not encouraging.
    • The threat presented by artillery rockets will likely increase. Palestinian groups, it can be assumed, will take advantage of the period of calm for replenishing weapons and stockpiling reserves, as well as developing or purchasing rockets with a range of 10-15 kilometers. The change in threat will be only partially attributable to the disengagement, as it can be assumed that the range and quantity of the rockets held by the Palestinians would have increased to some degree in any event, regardless of the Israeli withdrawal.
    • Palestinian success in the introduction of rockets into Judea and Samaria and firing them against Israeli towns and settlements (in the Sharon region, for example) would be much more significant than any reasonably foreseeable development in Palestinian capability in this realm in the Gaza Strip.


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