The Unexpected Hurdles of the Sharon Plan

What promises to be the most hotly debated issue when the Knesset parliament considers the rest of the Sharon Plan is the almost unnoticed Clause Five that mandates the provision for further military training of Palestinian armed forces. Such training is to be done in conjunction with the US, the UK, Jordan and Egypt, despite the fact that Clause One of the same Sharon Plan continues to declare th

David Bedein,

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credit David Michael Cohen
The hot issue of dismantling Israeli settlements contiguous to Gaza was only a distraction from the even hotter issues that the Sharon Plan presages. The dismantling of Jewish communities was voted on in the Israeli cabinet on Sunday, June 6th, 2004.

What promises to be the most hotly debated issue when the Knesset parliament considers the rest of the Sharon Plan is the almost unnoticed Clause Five that mandates the provision for further military training of Palestinian armed forces. Such training is to be done in conjunction with the US, the UK, Jordan and Egypt, despite the fact that Clause One of the same Sharon Plan continues to declare that "there is no Palestinian partner for peace".

In other words, the Sharon Plan, ratified by a sovereign Israeli government, is offering to arm an entity recognized by Israel as being hostile to the State of Israel.

Has this happened before?

Well, yes.

Back in 1993, with the genesis of the Olso Process, Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres offered to provide military training for Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Liberation Army. At the time, Rabin and Peres had come to the conclusion that the Palestinian armed forces would use their weapons in the context of a peace process by controlling terrorism.

Yet, in September 2000, Rabin and Peres were proven wrong when the arms and military training that they had provided for the Palestinian armed forces was then turned against the people of Israel. A terror campaign then resulted in the premeditated murder of more than 1,000 men, women and children, and the maiming of more than 10,000 Israelis and foreign guests in Israel, including some Americans.

It is that same Palestinian armed force at war with Israel that the Sharon Plan now proposes to arm once again.

To that end, Sharon's government has bestowed security responsibilities on Muhammad Dahlan. Dahlan is thought of as the warlord of Gaza and thus the one to control things. Meanwhile, Israeli intelligence warns that Dahlan is directly responsible for much of the current terror campaign against the Israeli population.

Indeed, it was Ehud Olmert, now Israel's deputy defense minister, who exposed Dahlan's security file in an impassioned essay published by the Wall Street Journal on June 3, 2002, wherein Olmert called for Dahlan to be "eradicated."

Two years later, senior officials who serve in Israeli intelligence say that there has been no change in Dahlan's "modus vivendi", and that Dahlan continues his direct involvement in the planning of lethal terror acts. Indeed, Dahlan is the head of the Palestinian organization known as the Popular Resistance Committees, which took credit for the May 2, 2004, killing of expectant mother Tali Hatuel, murdered in her eighth month of pregnancy, along with the point-blank shooting deaths of her four little girls. On May 9, two Palestinian terrorists opened fire at several hundred mourners gathered at the site where Tali and her four daughters were gunned down and murdered. The exchange of fire between IDF troops and the gunmen lasted for half an hour, during which the settlers remained on the ground and hid behind vehicles and mounds of earth.

Yet Olmert is now the prime proponent of the Sharon Plan. He will not comment on why he suddenly places his trust in a terrorist whom he had called on Israel to get rid of exactly two years ago.

Meanwhile, in what promises to develop into yet another hot security issue, the Sharon Plan calls for the Egyptians to move their armed forces into Gaza, while officials in Israeli intelligence gather daily documentation showing that Egypt knowingly facilitates weapons tunnels to smuggle arms into Gaza from Egyptian territory.

In conclusion, the Sharon Plan, which many people have scrutinized in terms of how it would affect the lives of 7,500 Israeli farmers near Gaza, should be examined in terms of the security threat that it may pose to people who live anywhere in Israel.




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