Samaria (Shomron) Regional Council head Gershon Mesika says that the wide open expanses of the hilltops and valleys of his municipal council are the answer to the dangerous population density in the Tel Aviv region.
The army and other government bodies recently held an exercise for emergency scenarios in Samaria. Among them was a drill for the emergency absorption of thousands of Jews in the region.
Though the IDF drill did not address the Iranian missile threat specifically, Mesika’s forward-looking headline is “The Shomron: The Response to the Iranian Nuclear Threat.”
Samaria, also known as the northern part of the West Bank, is the large hilly area in the middle of Israel which lies just north of Jerusalem and east of Tel Aviv. Since Jewish towns exist there alongside Arab villages, it is widely assumed that Arab enemies would be less likely to attack the region for fear of harming Arab/Muslim population centers.
“At present,” Mesika writes in an article that will appear in the Our Land of Israel weekly publication this Friday, “the reality is that over five million people live in Gush Dan, the area known as ‘between Hadera and Gedera’ [roughly 540 square miles which encompass Greater Tel Aviv]. Aside from the environmental and planning problems this causes, it sharpens the dangers we face from non-conventional weapons.”
“The more we encourage citizens to leave the low-lying and crowded Gush Dan area and move to Samaria, the more the State of Israel will thus reduce the non-conventional threat it faces – especially the threat emanating from Iran’s nuclear plant in Bushehr.”
“It’s true: We should enact the Yitzhar-for-Bushehr plan – but not in the sense in which some anti-Israel forces would have it [Israel’s withdrawal from Yitzhar and the other Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria in exchange for Western pressure to close down Bushehr], but the opposite. The government of Israel must initiate a large-scale construction campaign in the Samarian region and start building new communities in its wide expanses, which are ready and waiting to absorb millions of Jewish residents.”
Though the IDF drill did not address the the Iranian missile threat specifically, Mesika’s forward-looking headline is “Samaria: The Response to the Iranian Nuclear Threat.”
Mesika also noted ironically that the explanatory literature for the drill “revolved precisely around the threats we issued a few years ago, when we warned against the Disengagement withdrawal from northern Samaria and Gush Katif.”