Ehud Barak Stressed Need for IDF Troops in Jordan Valley

(Times of Israel) Avi Issacharoff - The fate of the Jordan Valley, and the wider issue of security arrangements, are emerging as a major obstacle in the path of the indefatigable Secretary of State John Kerry's peace efforts. Gen. John Allen's painstakingly drafted security proposals have not produced a breakthrough. Both sides are insisting on keeping the Jordan Valley. In 2007, the IDF's Planning Directorate drew up Israel's security overview ahead of a peace treaty with the Palestinians that specified the need for an ongoing IDF presence in the Jordan Valley for a lengthy but undefined period. On the basis of that overview, then-Defense Minister Ehud Barak drew up a document, which became known as the "Eight Points," which he discussed with President Bush when he visited in January 2008. Barak stressed to Bush the imperative for IDF troops to remain in the Jordan Valley for the long term - a generation, according to some Israeli sources - to ensure no influx of terrorists or weaponry. In taking this position, Barak was merely reiterating the stance that had prevailed since the Yitzhak Rabin era in the early 1990s. And it holds today: A senior Israeli official said this week that if there is no Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley, "there will be rivers of blood."

2014-01-03 00:00:00

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