Ret. Maj.-Gen. Yaakov Amidror
Ret. Maj.-Gen. Yaakov Amidror Israel news photo: (Netanya College)

A secret IDF Intelligence (AMAN) assessment warned as early as 1993 that the Oslo Accords would likely end with

The Rabin government 'completely ignored' IDF assessments.

rocket attacks on Ashkelon, according to former AMAN Maj.-Gen. Yaakov Amidror. The politicians, however, were not interested. Amidror leveled the charges during a lecture at the Netanya College on Monday.

According to Amidror, who headed the IDF's Research and Assessment Division responsible for preparing the National Intelligence Assessment, the decision to go ahead with the Oslo agreements between Israel and the PLO terrorist organization was made without taking into account the military implications. The Rabin government "completely ignored" IDF assessments, Amidror claimed.

In fact, as Amidror recalled, then-Foreign Minister Shimon Peres ejected the IDF representatives from the Cabinet meeting when the ministerial vote on the Oslo Accords took place. In Amidror's view, it was symptomatic of efforts by the political echelon to close their ears to warnings from the military regarding the fateful agreement to establish an autonomous Palestinian Authority.

The secret Oslo-era AMAN report stated that the accords contained several clauses that were clearly militarily unenforceable, Amidror said. These included the right of IDF "hot pursuit" into Palestinian Authority areas in the event that the PA leadership refuses to cooperate. In the assessment of the AMAN analysts, PLO failure to uphold its end of the agreements with Israel would end with PA rockets fired at Ashkelon.

Right-wing politicians at the time echoed these very same specific concerns regarding rocket attacks from Gaza, but were dismissed by government spokespeople as "fear mongers." In the interim, thousands of PA rockets have exploded throughout southern Israel, including Ashkelon and areas to the north and east of the port city. 

In Amidror's view, the political leadership knew the IDF position on the inherent dangers of the Oslo Accords, but simply chose to disregard them once the principles of the accords were agreed upon with the PLO.

Legal Loopholes, Too

Aside from his description of ignored IDF warnings regarding the military aspects of the Oslo Accords, Amidror said that the agreements were found legally wanting as well. Attorney Yoel Zinger, who later advised the Israeli negotiating team for what became Oslo II, was invited to look at the initial accords from his professional point of view. As Amidror described it, Zinger found a plethora of legal deficiencies.

Sunday, September 13 will mark the 16th anniversary of the formal signing of the Israel-PLO Oslo Accords, officially titled the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements. The signing ceremony, orchestrated by current U.S. presidential advisor Rahm Emanuel, was held on the White House lawn.

Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin, PLO terror chief Yasser Arafat and U.S. President Bill Clinton exchanged handshakes, while the PLO's Mahmoud Abbas and Israel's Foreign Minister Shimon Peres signed the actual document. Signing as witnesses were U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher and Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev.