After the Hamas Victory: The Increasing Importance of Israel's Strategic Barrier in the Jordan Valley

(Institute for Contemporary Affairs/Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Dore Gold - The massive electoral victory of Hamas has created an entirely new strategic reality for Israel which vastly increases the importance of the Jordan Valley (a desert zone almost devoid of population) for Israel's security in the near term. Should Israel face a new round of armed Palestinian violence, its ability to isolate the Hamas regime from external reinforcement will be a key security requirement. In the summer of 2005, bin Laden's deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, requested that Al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi extend his Sunni insurgency to the secular states neighboring Iraq, meaning Syria and Jordan, and prepare for the "clash with Israel." Former IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Moshe Yaalon warned at the recent Herzliya Conference that Israel might face the threat of mujahideen from the Iraq war seeking to infiltrate into Israel. Control of the Jordan Valley enables Israel to deal with any likely eventuality to the east. Should Israel withdraw from the Jordan Valley to the line of the security fence, it would not be able to stop the flow of insurgents and equipment into the West Bank to the terrain dominating Ben-Gurion Airport and other vital parts of Israel's national infrastructure along its coastal plain.

2006-02-08 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive