Lessons of the Gaza Security Fence for the West Bank

(Institute for Contemporary Affairs/Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)Maj. Gen. (res.) Doron Almog - As part of the implementation of Oslo, Israel gave up 80 percent of Gaza on May 18, 1994. When we talk about disengagement from Gaza, this means withdrawal from the remaining 20 percent of the area. During my time as Commander of Southern Command in the years 2000-2003, there were more than 400 attempts by Palestinians to cross into Israel, all of which failed. Together with rebuilding the fence, a key security element was the creation of a one-kilometer security buffer zone. In addition, we constructed high technology observation posts that enabled soldiers to monitor about six kilometers - day and night, and we provided the troops with new rules of engagement regarding anyone approaching this area. We have stopped about 30 percent of hostile actions near the fence and 70 percent inside the territory through offensive actions. In addition to the fence, we must continue to gather intelligence throughout the territories in order to be able to intercept Palestinian terrorists. As the fence prevented terrorists from leaving Gaza, they decided to change tactics - developing rockets and initiating focused attacks on Israeli settlements. When we finish the fence around the West Bank, the Palestinian terrorism model may change there as well and follow the same pattern.

2004-12-23 00:00:00

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