If – as many expect – the United Nations General Assembly votes to recognize a Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem at its meeting next September, the IDF and the government will have to take a more aggressive tack to defend Jews living in Judea and Samaria.
A study undertaken by IDF Reserve Major Moshe Hisdai examined the defense, military, and legal implications of UN recognition of a PA state – and concluded that the army, government and residents have to be ready in advance. “This is not an apocalyptic scenario, but we must rid ourselves of the viewpoint that such radical scenarios are far-fetched,” Hisdai said in an interview with Arutz 7. “The mindset that we are well-defended is a false one.”
Hisdai, a well-known defense official who conducted numerous investigations of defensive systems and set up a special missions unit in Judea and Samaria, cites in his study sources as divergent as President Shimon Peres and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz – individuals between whom the political gap is wide. Apparently the defensive gap is not.
In a study done in 1998, entitled “When the Palestinian Army Invades the Center of the Country,” Steinitz slams the idea of allowing free access to Judea and Samaria for PA troops. Such access would inevitably encourage a regional war, and the 25,000 or so PA troops that might invade the center of the country could be enough to turn tide of the battle against Israel, enabling the enemy to take over large parts of the country.
Hisdai cites another study by Reserve Colonel Moshe Hager, head of the country's pre-army academies, who wrote that Defense Minister Ehud Barak's plan to allow large numbers of PA troops into Judea and Samaria could endanger the existence of the state. “In the event of a regional war, Judea and Samaria will remain without supervision, as IDF troops try to repel the invasion. It will be impossible to prevent thousands of terrorists from invading Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. Such a scenario could lead to a massacre of Jews, a one-on-one fight where Arabs have the advantage, attacking isolated and exposed Jews,” Hager wrote.
Even Shimon Peres, the architect of Oslo, realizes the folly of allowing large numbers of PA troops into Judea and Samaria. Peres, in two of his books – including 1993's New Middle East – writes that tens of thousands of PA troops in Judea and Samaria would be in a perfect position to invade Israel. In fact, the PA's “irregular army,” which could be beefed up quickly and easily, would be an invaluable addition to the Arab armies that would fight against Israel.
Hisdai's study includes other expert opinions, from a wide range of Israeli security experts, that all say the same thing – Israel , including the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, would be in mortal danger if the PA had the opportunity to spread its troops throughout a PA state that could become a reality just a few months from now. And if such a declaration is made, the PA troops, according to international law, would be within their rights to enter Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and wreak havoc on the lives of residents.
Hisdai's study was prompted by the murders of the Fogel family in Itamar last month. “The real lesson of the Fogel murders is that we must think about what the scenario would have been like if this had been an all-out attack, instead of a home invasion and murder by two individuals.”
The study's bottom line is that the IDF and the government must be much more serious in how their conception of defense in Judea and Samaria in the wake of the potential political developments. “I have been speaking to all sorts of groups, both right and left, in recent weeks,” Hisdai says. “And interestingly, the moderate left and the right all agree: There is no Palestinian partner, and no one to negotiate with on the two-state solution. It appears that those who believed in that solution are in search of another approach.”