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"Israel Won´t be Able to Fight Terrorism After Disengagement"

Ex-Deputy Head of IDF Intelligence Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror, speaking at the 5th Herzliya Conference yesterday, laid out his strenuous objections to the disengagement transfer/expulsion plan.
First Publish: 12/17/2004, 12:36 PM / Last Update: 12/17/2004, 10:50 AM

"I think that the disengagement is harmful to the State of Israel from three standpoints," Amidror said. "These are: security, strategic, and diplomatic...

"From a security angle, this plan returns Israel to the dark days when our security was dependent on the good will of the Palestinians. The situation after the disengagement will not allow Israel to fight terrorism. There is simply no way to fight terrorism without controlling the area. Ask yourselves: Why are there no Kassams from Kalkilye? Why are there no tunnels from Judea and Samaria? Why do we not have 140 terror victims a month, as we had just a year and a half ago? It's not because of the partition fence – because there are more areas in Judea and Samaria that are not fenced in than are fenced in.

"The answer is simple: It is because we have had control of the area. During Operation Defensive Shield, the IDF re-acquired its ability to fight terrorism. The moment we leave Gaza, even the little we have will be lost.

"A week after the signing of the Oslo Agreement, the IDF Intelligence Division wrote a paper saying that it could be a historic move, but that it could also very well end up with Katyusha rockets fired on Ashkelon. Now, the unilateral disengagement will enable this. Will it happen? I'm not sure [- but] it's not up to us; it's solely dependent on the good will of the Palestinians.

"The unilateral disengagement will return us, in Gush Katif and northern Shomron, to the worst days [of the past few years], with the 140 victims a month... Let it be completely clear: The ability to fight terrorism with an army, which we acquired with our blood, and which everyone said was impossible, will be totally lost when we leave Gaza. There will be no way to fight terrorism, not militarily and not by intelligence... The tunnels that we see now are child's play compared to what will be after we leave – if the Palestinians wish; it will not be up to us. I haven't heard one word from anyone explaining how they plan to fight terrorism after we leave Gaza. For there is no answer..."

Gen. Amidror also said that the disengagement plan would "turn Gaza into the only shelter state in the world for the Al-Qaeda organization."

He then explained the strategic dangers of Prime Minister Sharon's withdrawal plan:
"Someone [IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Yaalon – ed.] has already said that this plan gives a supportive wind to terrorism. I'll explain why. If there is an [ideological] dispute in the Arab and Moslem world – if there is, according to the optimistic ones among us – it's between the [late Egyptian President Anwar] Sadat's position and that of [Hizbullah terrorist chieftain Sheikh] Nasrallah. Sadat said that Israel is an established fact, and that [the Arabs] have to make some sort of agreement with it – cold peace, warm, or whatever. Nasrallah says, 'I have a different way: terrorism will get them [the Jews] to scatter away from here.'

"So what do we do? Right in the heart of the terrorism, we run away from Gaza! We can give 1,000 excuses and provide a million reasons why we're not doing it because of terrorism, but because of other reasons... How will the Arabs see it? I can tell you: 74% of the Palestinians see the disengagement as 'running away because of terrorism.'"

Regarding the diplomatic aspects, Amidror explained that rather than directly harming Israel, the disengagement plan simply wastes cards that could have been used to much greater advantage. He elaborated on this to Arutz-7 last month:
"The world community [will now] come to Israel and say, 'Look, Arafat is dead, Bush has been re-elected, and what are you willing to give in order to advance the peace process?' We could have said that we would make a very dramatic and momentous sacrifice in Gaza - but now that we announced our intention to do so several months ago, the world tells us, 'Great, you've already given up on Gaza, what else can you give us?'"