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Daily Israel Report

Indor: Israel´s New Toughness Will be Short-Lived

Lt.-Col. (res.) Meir Indor says that Israel's hands are tied by the U.S., and that the military measures it took after Sunday's fatal terrorist attack will end when public opinion is pacified.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 10/19/2005, 9:03 AM / Last Update: 10/17/2005, 10:53 AM

Indor, head of the Almagor Terror Victim Association, said that the United States had granted "permission" to implement the measures for "only a short time."

The army and security apparatus are hiding important information from the public, Indor charges. "In the framework of the disengagement plan," he says, "Israel promised the Americans and the PA that it would neutralize three critical elements of its security protection. Israel promised to remove or reduce most of the checkpoints on Judea/Samaria roads, grant permission for private Arab vehicles to travel on the main roads, and retreat from the Arab-populated cities in Judea/Samaria."

"Most of the restrictions that were emplaced on the Palestinians following the wave of terrorism in Judea/Samaria," he says, "and which succeeded in reducing the shooting attacks, have been removed - resulting in an increase in attacks."

Gush Etzion Regional Council head Sha'ul Goldstein echoed Indor's evaluation that the removal of the above security elements led to an increase in terrorism and attacks such as the murder of the three young Israelis on Sunday.

"Israel's promises were made to the Americans in a document that was termed a 'side letter' to the Disengagement Plan," Indor said. "For this reason, unlike the entire plan itself, the letter was not brought up for discussion in the Cabinet or in the Knesset. Most of the ministers and Knesset Members did not know about it, and neither did the media. We in Almagor tried but failed to bring it to public attention."

Indor said that he requested that the Cabinet hold a meeting before the implementation of the disengagement to discuss Israel's promises. "The answer we received," Indor said, "was that it was true that the promises were not approved, but that they would be 'presented to the ministers' - trying to minimize the severity of the promises and the need to discuss them."

"Even now," he said, "the Israeli promises that leave us little room for maneuvering are hidden in various Defense Ministry statements and in the IDF, as if they were just gestures initiated by Israel. Not a word is mentioned about the fact that we obligated ourselves. The new measures that were decided upon will only last for a short period, until Israeli public opinion calms down a little."

" Unfortunately," Indor concluded, "when Israel has to choose between its own military needs and its commitments to the U.S., it chooses the latter - or else reduces its own needs to a minimum."