The Strategic Logic of Israel's Security Barrier

(Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Col. (Res.) Danny Tirza - Ben-Gurion International Airport is only eleven kilometers from the "green line," and Israel has real concerns over the potential threat of missiles launched against aircraft. Al-Qaeda tried to shoot down an Israeli Arkia aircraft with a missile in Mombasa, Kenya, in 2002 and it was a miracle that nobody was killed at that time. Due to weather conditions, there are seventy days a year when aircraft flying in and out of Israel must fly above the West Bank. We wanted to build a double fence in the area near the airport in order to secure it from missiles, but there are 19,000 Palestinians living in this area and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Israel could not leave people to live in enclaves. Why wasn't the fence built on the "green line" - the 1949 ceasefire line? From a security perspective, mountains dominate valleys. To provide security, Israel must control the high ground in order to dominate the area and not have others dominate us. The "green line" leaves Israel in a fragile security situation. In all government decisions it was emphasized that the line the army was building was only a security line and it would not be the line for future negotiations.

2006-03-09 00:00:00

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