Israel's Current Strategic Environment

[Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs] Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amos Gilad - Hamas could have pretended it wanted a political solution and the whole world would have recognized this. The Quartet posed to Hamas only three conditions: recognize your neighbor, recognize the peace agreements, and avoid terror. But Hamas said, no, Israel has no right to exist. They have a dream - to join the other Islamic forces, to revolutionize the whole Middle East. The Palestinian Authority is doing better at maintaining law and order in its territory in the West Bank. However, it has far from demonstrated any level of performance in dealing with terror. Today there is unprecedented military and intelligence cooperation between Hizbullah, Syria, and Iran. There is no "smuggling" of weapons from Iran through Syria to Lebanon, because it is not done in secret. Weapons of all kinds are being pushed toward Hizbullah, including tens of thousands of rockets. Hizbullah has turned Lebanon into a "banana republic." The president of Lebanon, who is a general and a former commander of the Lebanese army, does not know when his country will be involved in a confrontation with Israel. The one who decides this is Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah, who has no official standing in the Lebanese government. There are indirect peace talks between Syria and Israel and the price being asked by Syria is known. The price Israel is asking in any peace agreement is security, but the definition of security is now different from a decade ago because there are now longer-range rockets and terror. Syria is sheltering all kinds of terrorist organizations. In any peace agreement, Syria must drop this support for terror. The writer serves as Director of the Military/Political and Policy Bureau of the Israel Ministry of Defense.

2008-10-29 01:00:00

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