Israel Mustn't Give Up the Jordan Valley

(Ynet News) Yiftah Ron-Tal - The perception that the Jordan Valley should remain Israel's security border in any agreement with the Palestinians has been shared by all Israeli governments in the past 20 years - from the Rabin government through the Sharon government to the Netanyahu government. I listen to the different statements on possibly giving up on Israeli sovereignty in the Jordan Valley and IDF presence both in the Valley and on the West Bank mountain ridge - and I'm astonished. One can determine unequivocally that Israeli security control in the Jordan Valley and on the mountain ridge is an essential component of Israel's security perception. Giving up on an Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley means creating territorial continuity between Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. This will immediately allow the smuggling of weapons strategically threatening the State of Israel, contrary to the agreements the sides will sign. Secondly, the PA's shared border with Jordan, whose population is mostly Palestinian, may undermine the stability of King Abdullah's regime - a moderate regime which Israel has the utmost interest to maintain. Without security control on the West Bank mountain ridge, Israel will remain without vital strategic depth, considering that the Palestinian territories will be so close to Israel's large population centers and key strategic facilities. There is no creative solution which can serve as an alternative to control of the Jordan Valley. An international force is not a solution either. All the examples in our region prove that such forces are ineffective against hostile elements. Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yiftah Ron-Tal is a former commander of the IDF's Ground Forces.

2014-01-31 00:00:00

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