NEW YORK- The Israeli Army expects that if Israel unilaterally withdraws from Gaza, then Gaza may become “a terrorist entity where anarchy prevails,” according to documents obtained by the Israeli daily Ma’ariv.
The Ma’ariv report (October 15, 2004) quotes from internal Israeli Army documents outlining the army’s plans and expectations in the event of a unilateral retreat from Gaza. The Army believes Gaza may become “a terrorist entity where anarchy prevails,” and the documents list numerous specific threats that will arise if Israel pulls out:
* “Palestinian snipers targeting Israeli farmers beyond the fence.”
* “Rocket fire at western Negev kibbutzim.”
* “Attacks against IDF patrols along the fence.”
* “Kidnapping and holding soldiers inside Gaza.”
* “Palestinians currently fire rockets from deep within Gaza, but after the withdrawal they will be able to shoot from just inside the security fence, sending rockets deeper inside Israel — even to reach the prime ministers home, located just beyond Sderot.”
* “Entry of terrorists into Israel via underground tunnels or ladders, by sea, or using gliders.”
* “Palestinian acquisition of anti-aircraft missiles and long-range rockets.”
Morton A. Klein, National President of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA): “The plan for unilateral retreat from Gaza has all the makings of a folly that could prove to be worse than the disastrous Oslo accords. Rewarding terrorists by giving them land and allowing them to establish a new terrorist state will endanger Israel and undermine America’s war against terrorism.
“Before Israel makes a decision which could involve such dangers, there should be a national referendum to give the Israeli public the opportunity to express its viewpoint.”
The ZOA notes that polls have found that most Israelis share the Army’s concerns. A recent poll by the Geocartography Group found 71% do not believe that retreat will slow down the flow of weapons to the terrorists in Gaza; 64% do not believe that retreat will decrease the threat of missiles fired by terrorists at pre-1967 Israel; and 59% do not believe that retreat will diminish the Arabs’ determination to attack Israel.