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Thursday, June 29, 2006
Weekly Commentary: Cease Fire Only Means Harder Future

Weekly Commentary: Cease Fire Only Means Harder Future

Aaron Lerner Date: 29 June 2006

The kidnapping of Gilad Shalit, ongoing Qasaam fire, the acceptance by "man
of peace" Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas of the "National Conciliation Document"
(in a version even more radical than the original) and the murder of Eliahu
Asheri provides Israel with a window of opportunity to launch an important -
and possibly critical - operation to roll back the ever growing Palestinian
capability to engage Israel in a debilitating war of attrition and bog down
Israeli forces needed in the event of the threat of invasion.

And that Palestinian capability certainly has been growing.

It's not that the security situation was close to ideal in the Gaza Strip
before the retreat.

The second half of the masterfully planned Defensive Shield operation to
clear out much of the then existing terror infrastructure in both the West
Bank and Gaza Strip was never carried out, leaving Israel with the situation
that while extremely small teams could essentially go anywhere at anytime in
the West Bank (as exhibited by the operation that was able to track down and
capture part of the team that murdered Asheri within hours) considerably
large parts of the Gaza Strip were off limits to all but air attacks and
major ground force operations.

Prime Minister Olmert claims that there were periods before the retreat in
which the incidents of Qassams were worse than since the retreat. But the
reason that there was so much activity wasn't because the IDF couldn't stop
the rockets at the time. It was because the politicians didn't let them.
Besides halting Defensive Shield, the politicians kept dropping ongoing
security measures. Roadblocks with vehicle inspection at key points on the
road traversing the Gaza Strip were supposed to play a critical role in
controlling the flow of rockets and weapons in the Strip, for example, but
the politicians consistently pulled the inspections within days of an
attack - only to "close the barn door" after another attack.

Since the retreat the entire Gaza Strip the situation is even worse as it
has become essentially one big terror training camp.

And the situation is anything but static.

As each day passes, the terror groups add new recruits and stock their
armories as they move up the learning curve - both in terms of training and
weapons technology - as they grow in numbers and their armories fill with
weapons.

And to make matters worse, all of these groups are slated to be put on the
Palestinian Authority's payroll.

This window won't last long. Pressure will only increase on Israel to find
a way to gracefully step back. And the National Conciliation Document could
very well end up succeeding in facilitating internal Palestinian stability
so that they can be an even more dangerous enemy to the Jewish State.

Would a Defensive Shield operation in Gaza bring permanent peace?

Of course not.

The war against terrorism, just as the war against crime, never ends.

But that's hardly an excuse for not fighting.

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
Website: http://www.imra.org.il

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