First Hand Report from an Israeli Army Officer


         

First Hand Report from an Israeli Army Officer

 
 
 
 

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Separation? We Already Saw This Movie!!

by Lieutenant-Colonel (Reserves) Meir Indor

The new announcement regarding building a wall between us and the Arabs which recently came out of the University of Adherents of Oslo [School of the Oslophiles] does not take into account that we already saw this movie, even before 1967.

Separation already existed back then. However, the shootings and artillery attacks from the "West Bank" on Israel's Mediterranean coastline showed how ineffective it was. Thus, we were forced to conquer Judea and Samaria.

All the elements that failed in the separation of old have nowadays grown more apparent.

At that time, the terror organizations were small. Today, we now have tens of thousands of armed terrorists with advanced communication networks. In those days, there was still some distance between the green line and the coastal cities. Today, the Israeli population, which has increased in the meantime, has now also reached the green line.

Now, we have to make a separation between the two.

In the framework of my position in the reserves, we were asked years ago to prepare a position paper for creating a "secure buffer zone". At that time, it was not called "separation" because the meaning was obvious. Then, we did not have the question of how to invent a new, proper word for the media that would calm the public; rather, the issue was to find a way to create a buffer zone to prevent terrorist attacks on the coastal areas. The answer was obvious to the army officers in the Six-Day War: the only solution was to control those territories.

Enemy Fire

1. A fence whose cost would be prohibitive would not present a barrier from direct ground fire from the territories behind it. There is ground firing on Neve Dekalim from territories beyond the security fence, which cannot prevent it.

2. An even-more-expensive wall would not be a barrier for fire from above and direct ground fire beyond it. In Gilo, walls were already built and the shooting continues.

Invasion

1. In light of the short distance between the border-line and the population centers of Kfar Saba and the settlements of the Coast - in some places, less than one kilometer - the danger of invasion is great.

Even if the security systems warn of an invasion, until the chase is organized, the terrorist would already have gained ingress into the Israeli town or city on his way to an attack. What if there is no warning from the security system? The results of the situation in Gush Katif show that even the armed forces are not completely immune, let alone the civilian population.

2. All along the northern border, Arab villages have taken over buildings, which are ideal hiding places. Not for nothing have many terrorists chosen to cross over at these places. If a fence is built there and the terrorists manage to cross it, either in plain sight or through tunnels, with ladders or hang-gliders, will the Islamic leaders there inform on them or just the opposite - would youngsters watch and tell the terrorists when the Israeli patrols arrive?!

3. Therefore, we will have to create, in addition to the fence, a boundary between 15-20 kilometers in width, similar to the distance between the Jordan and the mountainsides ("Land of Pursuit") which will give us enough time to initiate pursuit following a warning. A boundary of this size does not contain enough territory from the West Bank to the border-line. Therefore, it would have to be east of it, from the western plain of Yehuda and Shomron.

It would also require a longer fence and security system on the eastern side of that same territory. As if Israel can allow itself such an expensive luxury!

If you think that this writer is joking, the army and police were requested to supply solutions, and they speak seriously about two security fences.

If so, we also need to place armed forces along the fence, otherwise they would steal the fencing, as will be discussed further on.

4. However, there is a more serious problem: what to do with the Arab towns and villages, which would be within that same Land of Pursuit - should we move them?

Besides, this adds a further problem: a great part of the territories are Palestinian population centers and have become like islands and we cannot move freely in them according to the agreements. How would we be able to conduct chases there?

5. There are areas where it is impossible to build fences; for instance, Jerusalem. The terrorists are also aware of this. What is the solution there? What would be the value of a fence in other places, if it can be penetrated within such a large area as Jerusalem? Is this not a waste of money?

6. Even in the Gaza Strip, where there is also a buffer zone beside the fence, it did not fulfill hopes. Ask Deputy Police Minister Gideon Ezra how many terrorists managed to infiltrate the "safe passages". When we stop Arab workers from entering here, there is a great hue and cry from the left and the Europeans. Witness, for example, what happens when we close off the Gaza Strip for a few days following a terror attack.

7. Besides, we still have not spoken of the "locals" in the strip, who cut the fence and steal it. According to Nahum Barnea's and Guy Leshem's reports, the locals have started stealing parts of the fence which divides the Sharon towns to the east, even before it's cement posts have managed to dry.

8. A fence with no firing orders from it is not worth the posts on which it was built. Firing orders along the length of the border-line will be non-existent (like along the Jordanian border, for instance). Those orders would always be restrained, and rightly so, most of those crossing it are looking for work, a situation which the terrorists expect.

9. We are promised that after a border is created, we will be able to shoot at any infiltrators. However, we have already seen this movie also. This is what they said at the beginning of the Oslo Agreements, when we warned them about giving the Arabs territory and weapons, which would be turned against us. We were promised that if they would even dare.we would re-conquer them.

Ever since, we have had a great many killed and many reasons to re-conquer the territories. Their promises have not been fulfilled.

Here is some advice: let us take, for example, the fence near the Tunnel between Jerusalem and Gush Etzion and carry out firing orders against the thousands of Arab workers who illegally cross it today.

We will see what the left and the European Union say when the Israeli snipers shoot down the Arab workers while on their way to their daily work every sunrise.

Thus, the reason for separation has disappeared - we are back to the starting point and the return of security control into Israeli hands of Palestinian Authority-controlled territories.

There are also limitations to this plan but they are preferable over the limitations of the "Separation Plan".


The writer is a lieutenant-colonel in the reserves. He acts as Head of the Terror Victims Association.

~~~~~~~

from the April 2002 Edition of the Jewish Magazine

 

 

 

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