The Impotence of Foreign Forces

(Israel Hayom) Nadav Shragai - On March 14, 2006, the Palestinians announced that Ahmed Saadat, the secretary-general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the killers of former minister Rehavam Ze'evi, would be released from a PA prison in Jericho. American and British security guards stationed in the prison who were charged with preventing such a scenario made a quick getaway out of fear for their lives. Only a lightning operation by the IDF led to Saadat's reincarceration in Israel. That same year in Gaza, in the wake of the Hamas victory in the elections, dozens of EU security personnel whose job was to monitor the flow of weapons to the Strip fled their posts. In the north, officers in the IDF Northern Command have looked on as Hizbullah operatives lobbed rockets at Israel from positions near UNIFIL posts on Lebanese soil. IDF commanders have repeatedly complained that the presence of international forces ties their hands and limits their ability to respond, thus indirectly aiding the terrorists. The abduction of three IDF soldiers on Mount Dov in October 2000 took place right under the nose of UNIFIL. Former Israeli national security advisor Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror was a conscript paratrooper in the Six-Day War. He remembers a group of Indian troops clad in Sikh turbans, part of the UN peacekeeping force in Gaza, that withdrew from their positions on the eve of the war. Amidror believes that PA President Abbas' proposal that NATO forces be stationed in the West Bank and the Jordan Valley as part of an agreement with the Palestinians is "bizarre." "When you are the one defending yourself, you are also the one who determines what is more important and what is less important for your security," he said. "Can one seriously expect someone in Brussels to determine what is or isn't important for our security?" Three years ago, Amidror penned a paper for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs titled "The Risks of Foreign Peacekeeping Forces in the West Bank." He said this week: "A UN force or an international force would be an obstacle that would hinder Israel's ability to defend itself....Whether that force would be deployed under the flag of the UN or under NATO, as long as those troops are deployed in a situation of conflict, they will face one fundamental problem that is faced by all peacekeeping forces: the need to maintain good working relations with violent militias and terrorist organizations."

2014-02-25 00:00:00

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