Powered by WebAds

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Reflections on Fighting Terror Originating in Judea and Samaria

It looks like the response to yesterday's attack will unfortunately be minimal. Ehud Olmert's reaction ("we will know what to do") was reminiscent of Ehud Barak's reaction to the early days of the intifadeh in 2000-01. Expect more empty buildings and launching sites fields to be hit. I'd be surprised if the IDF is authorized to do more than that before (at least) the new government is installed. Obviously, that won't be enough to stop the constant efforts to send suicide bombers to hit Israeli targets.

The JPost notes this morning that the IDF has been saying all along that it is impossible to hermetically seal Judea and Samaria. That is true. The topography is far different than that of Gaza (which is flat and can be walled off on all sides except the sea), and even if the 'security fence' were to be completed and all Israelis to its east brought to the west ("them over there and us over here" as the leftists like to put it), the results would be far different than those of the Gaza fence. The facts that construction on the fence is taking much longer than expected, that its route is constantly being challenged in Israel's 'Supreme Court' and that its route is now based more on Arab convenience than on strategic necessity, all indicate that we will be fighting Palestinian terror for the foreseeable future, regardless of whether Olmert carries out his convergence expulsion plan. If anything, as the Gaza 'disengagement' has shown, expelling the Jews will only move the front lines up closer to the green line and embolden the Palestinian terrorists.

What can be done to fight terror? The same Post article notes this morning that the bomber likely crossed into Israel through one of the West Bank crossings and was probably smuggled in by an Israeli who drives Palestinians into Israel for a living. The fact that after five and a half years of terror we have no effective answer to Israelis driving Palestinians for a living is disgraceful. Every one of us who has driven a car through a crossing (I do it regularly on Route 443) knows that the Arabs are pulled aside and the Jews are waved through. Perhaps it's time to add more lanes at the crossings and to pull aside an occasional Jewish car with the goal of ferreting out the smugglers.

The Post also reports that the I
DF General Staff has discussed launching an extensive Defensive Shield-like operation throughout the West Bank. The Central Command has already begun sending infantry battalions to urban warfare centers to sharpen soldier's skills for the long and tedious operations that can be expected under such a campaign. Such an operation would target the Hamas-run 'Palestinian Authority,' using Hamas' statements as justification. While such an operation would certainly be desirable, I hope that we will not get bogged down in a Jenin-type operation in which we risk IDF soldiers' lives because the terrorists are hiding among civilians (which - by the way - violates the Geneva Convention). This time, with the Palestinian civilians having chosen the terrorists in their January elections just three months ago, I hope that we will see more use of air power and less risking of the lives of Israeli ground troops in house to house combat. If that means that lots of 'Palestinians' flee across the border to Jordan, all the better. But I doubt that Israel will be willing to take the inevitable international and UN heat from an air operation, and I'm not even sure that the United States would back us if we did.

The Post concludes its analysis by saying that j
ust last week, IDF Planning Directorate chief Maj.-Gen. Yitzhak Harel told The Jerusalem Post that once the army felt its current operation was no longer providing the needed results, Israel would escalate its response. We may have reached that point. If we have reached that point, let's roll 'em. Let's not wait for another terror attack to kill another 20 or 30 or 50 R"L innocent Israelis.


At 10:08 PM, Blogger Scottage said...

I was continually impressed under Ariel Sharon that he would come up with new ways of tackling specific terror issues, keeping our enemy off guard. So far, not the same from Ehud Olmert. A Jenin-style destruction of a town is exactly what they expect, and by now the militants are leaving likely targets. We need soem out of the box thinking, and I suggests a through read of Sharon's autobiography, Warrior, for Olmert; it talks about how to conduct a war against a population willing to die for their cause.


Post a Comment

<< Home