NEW YORK- Despite claims that an Israeli retreat from Lebanon would lead to peace, Hezbollah terrorists in southern Lebanon now have rockets that can reach Tel Aviva dangerous sign of what to expect if Israel retreats from Gaza.
According to Israel Radio (July 25, 2004), Israel’s chief of military intelligence, Major-General Aharon Ze’evi-Farkash told the cabinet that Hezbollah now has rockets with a range of as much as 215 kilometers, putting Tel Aviv and even Ashdod within range.
Morton A. Klein, National President of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), said: Israel’s retreat from southern Lebanon made it possible for Hezbollah to acquire rockets that can hit Tel Aviv. Israel’s retreat from Gaza will make it possible for terrorists there to acquire similar rockets. Only a continuous Israeli military presence in Gaza can prevent the area from becoming the launching pad for murderous attacks on Israeli cities.
The ZOA points out that one by one, all of the arguments in favor of retreating from Gaza are crumbling:
* Retreat supporters claimed that the cause of terrorism is the presence of Jews in Gaza — but even as Israel is preparing to withdraw from Gaza, the terrorists are carrying out rocket attacks on Sderot and other cities within Israel’s pre-1967 borders.
* Retreat supporters claimed that most Israelis believe leaving Gaza will enhance Israel’s security. But a June 2004 poll by the Geocartography Group found 64% of Israelis do not believe that retreat will decrease the threat of missiles fired by terrorists at pre-1967 Israel; 61% of Israelis believe that retreat will accelerate the flow of military supplies to Gaza; and 59% do not believe that retreat will diminish the Arabs’ determination to attack Israel.
* Retreat supporters claimed that if Israel withdraws, the Palestinian Authority will take action against the terrorists — but Yasir Arafat recently invited 5,000 of his Fatah Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade terrorists to become part of the official PA security forces in Gaza — meaning that the police will be the terrorists themselves.
* Retreat supporters claimed that an Israeli withdrawal would be rewarded by the U.S. halting its pressure on Israel to limit the security fence — but the Bush administration is continuing to pressure and criticize Israel over the fence issue.
* Retreat supporters claimed that most Israelis believe leaving Gaza will improve Israel’s security, but the latest poll demonstrates that most Israelis believe retreat will increase, not reduce, the terrorists’ missiles and other attacks.