The Demilitarization Delusion

(BESA Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University) Maj.-Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen - The threat Hamas poses through rocket firepower directed at Israeli cities should set off warning bells about a possible Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank. A Palestinian state on the 1967 lines will have the capacity to become a far greater threat than Gaza. The magnitude of the self-production of weapons under Hamas and Islamic Jihad using civilian machinery and raw materials reveals the hollowness of the demilitarization delusion. There is no way to prevent a state from possessing computerized lathe machines, iron pipes, or phosphates. The fact that, at present, there is no rocket production in the Palestinian cities of the West Bank stems entirely from the monitoring and prevention made possible by the presence of IDF forces deep inside the territory. When one compares the resources and efforts required to secure Israel's coastal plain, which are built around IDF activity in the West Bank and the support of the Israeli communities there, to what the defense establishment has to invest in Gaza, it becomes clear that the existing situation in the West Bank is more effective, economical, and suitable. The writer, a senior research fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, served in the IDF for 42 years, commanding troops in battle on the Egyptian and Syrian fronts.

2021-06-03 00:00:00

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