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Tuesday, February 17, 2004
Background: IDF Sets Impossible Condition For Gaza Retreat?

Background: IDF Sets Impossible Condition For Gaza Retreat?

Aaron Lerner Date: 17 February 2004

Israel Radio reported on the late evening news that while the IDF is
proposing to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that he opt for a rapid retreat
from Gaza for his retreat plan, the IDF also takes the position that a
condition for Israeli retreat is that the Palestinians will not be able to
operate a sea port or airport from the Gaza Strip after the Israeli retreat.
According to Israel Radio, the IDF warns that if the Palestinians are able
to operate a sea port or airport from the Gaza Strip after the Israeli
retreat, the Palestinians would be able to import weapons that would
threaten Israel's security.

Since Israel would not be able to prevent the formation of a sovereign
Palestinian state after an Israeli retreat from the Gaza Strip - and thus be
in no position to prevent the Palestinian sovereignty from operating sea
port and airports, it appears that some of the IDF experts involved in the
retreat consultations have used the reference to the ports problem as a
device to expose the fundamental danger in retreating from the Gaza Strip
while avoiding directly criticizing retreat.

This approach may avoid the problems that Military Intelligence Chief Major
General Aharon Zeevi Farkash faced for his 10 February remarks at the
Knesset's Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee meeting where he noted that
a Gaza withdrawal would boost terror and be seen as surrender. Zeevi-Farkash
had to later explain that he did not take a position on Sharon's withdrawal
plan in his testimony, noting that the withdrawal plan had not been
finalized. That is to say, that while withdrawal from Gaza would boost
terror that did not necessarily mean withdrawing from Gaza was a bad idea.

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(Mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730
INTERNET ADDRESS: imra@netvision.net.il
pager 03-6106666 subscriber 4811
Website: http://www.imra.org.il

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