Ya'alon: Terrorism and Nukes Threaten Us

(Jerusalem Post) Arieh O'Sullivan - In an interview published Friday, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Ya'alon said: • I see a potential existential threat to the state from a combination of demographics and terrorism on the Palestinian front. The conflict we are engaged in right now represents the non-recognition of the present Palestinian leadership of our right to live in a Jewish state. • The present Palestinian leadership went to war in 2000 in order to get out of an historic agreement whose significance was an end to the conflict. Just as the Palestinians rejected the 1947 partition plan, they rejected the partition plan of 2000. •Various elements in the region are trying to purchase nuclear capabilities. The main player here is Iran, but also Libya and other nations are talking of it, too. The Chief of Military Intelligence mentioned this week that Saudi Arabia is seeking nuclear weapons. Some of them are dealing with this in order to really defend themselves and create a semblance of deterrence not necessarily directed toward Israel - like Saudi Arabia, which is mainly afraid of Iran, not Israel. • Iran is an extremist regime which today parades Shihab-3 rockets with slogans written on them saying: "This missile will bring about the destruction of the State of Israel." •In the area of terrorism, the response is not just military. A decisive part of it is the society's resilience. This is the reasoning behind the Kassam rockets in Sderot. This is attrition directed primarily toward the civilian population and not the army. They know Israel is a military power so they direct their threats to what they see as the weak link in the chain of Israel's security and that is to strike at civilians in order to influence strategic decisions. •Twice it has happened that when we blew up a tunnel [under the Egypt-Gaza border], smoke rose from an Egyptian post on their side. I am not saying it is the policy of the Egyptian government, but I claim that the Egyptians can do a lot more. We have made some blunt comments in the past weeks because we were forced to, and they have done more. But why must we come to this? We believe that they haven't done enough and must do more. •Today we have an authority that wants the rights of a state but the obligations of a gang. Arafat allowed Hamas and Islamic Jihad to operate. He approved it. He armed the Tanzim. He created this well-organized chaos, this deliberate complication. This is his strategy.

2003-10-24 00:00:00

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