Appendix: Israel’s security since the Oslo Accords

In the two and a half decades since the Oslo Accords, the number of terror victims has tripled, and the number of people injured in terror attacks has risen more than eighteen-fold[1]. Before the Oslo Accords, there was no department for victims of hostile acts at the National Insurance Institute - simply because there was no need for it. The security and internal security budgets since the outbreak of the “peace” have doubled, and so, according to the partial data available, has the Shin Bet security budget. Israel’s security situation and the very legitimacy of its existence have deteriorated greatly.

For the first time since the War of Independence, Tel Aviv and Haifa have become an easy and legitimate target for massive rocket fire in every round of fighting. Between the unresolved rounds of fighting, which are taking an increasingly high toll in blood, Israeli citizens are becoming accustomed to the “drizzle” of rockets and to containment by Israel. The loss of the desire to win (because we are in a “peace” process) has led to the adoption of a concept of defensive warfare, which is based solely on the value of self-defense, and ultimately upon the removal of the very concept of victory from the consciousness of the IDF. The defense-only concept is what led 20 years ago to the phenomenon of concrete blocks, which began to emerge following the Oslo Accords. Over these many years, the concrete blocks were replaced by advanced technologies - Arrow missiles and Iron Dome - and completed the revolution in Israel’s concept of security.

After Oslo, Israel is no longer able to make the decision to prevent the development of the Iranian nuclear threat, as it did more than 30 years ago in Iraq. In practice, even if its leaders do not admit to this, Israel is preparing itself mentally and practically for a nuclear Iran and passive defense. The Oslo agreement, which was supposed to bring peace and security, brought the exact opposite. The withdrawal from southern Lebanon - a direct continuation of the Oslo Accords - has placed the entire country under an umbrella of more than 100,000 Hezbollah rockets, some of them GPS-guided, which can be aimed at any strategic target in Israel and pose a threat no less severe than the nuclear threat.[2]

In this appendix, Zehut seeks to trace landmarks in this deterioration. The strategic collapse of Israeli security is not a decree of fate. It is possible to re-adopt a security strategy that will preserve the security of the state as it did prior to the Oslo Accords. But in order to “recalculate a route” we must first realize that we erred. In order to be able to see the error, we must make one logical sequence of the security consequences of that agreement. This is the goal in the document before you.

The Peres Government: 4 Nov 1995 – 29 May 1996 

 

Peres implements Oslo

History could not have invented a more successful person than Shimon Peres in order to entrust him with the implementation of the Oslo Accords, or more convenient circumstances to begin implementing them.

This experienced and talented politician, the political father of the Oslo process, the man who manipulated Yitzhak Rabin from total opposition to the agreement to his actual leadership, and who, thanks to Oslo, became a strong, well-known, (and very wealthy) international figure, took the helm the night of the assassination of Prime Minister Rabin..

The shock caused by the murder in the Israeli public was limitless knew no bounds. Opponents of Oslo were “marked” as active partners in the murder. Men who wore kippot preferred to hide them when they walked the streets of Tel Aviv. Propaganda did its work, and the broad popular opposition to the agreements dissipated or was suppressed. Instead of stopping the Oslo Accords, the wicked assassination of Rabin achieved the exact opposite, and entrusted the execution of the Oslo Accords into the hands of the man most eager of all to execute them, while dropping all the barricades of public resistance. Within two months, in November-December 1995, the Peres government completed its withdrawal from all the cities of Judea and Samaria,[3] without any public opposition. Immediately afterwards, Peres tried to reach an agreement with Syria and withdraw from the Golan Heights as well.

Oslo engenders suicide terrorism

The result[4] was not long in coming. The Israeli public became familiar with a new type of terror - no more explosives being smuggled in bags or loaves of bread, but suicide bombers who blew themselves up on buses and crowded places. The Oslo Accords, which marked the loss of Israeli recognition of the justness of its path and the adoption of “Palestinian” righteousness, turned the war in Israel from a purely political struggle into a holy war. The suicide murderers have become “martyrs” worthy of the Muslim paradise, and their families have become respectable families who receive nice allowances from the budget of the Palestinian Authority[5]. A wave of suicide attacks flooded the country. In just the two weeks between 21 February and 4 March 1996, 59 Israelis were murdered, most of them in bus bombings, but Shimon Peres stuck to the driving concept.

Operation “Grapes of Wrath” and the beginning of “Rounds”

On March 13, Peres convened world leaders for a peace conference in Sharm el-Sheikh. In response, he received Katyusha barrages in the north that forced him to embark on Operation Grapes of Wrath. The operation was stopped when an IDF shell accidentally killed about 100 civilians in Qana and international criticism threatened to disrupt the celebrations of the outbreak of peace.

Thus, in the summer of 1996, Israel’s wars turned into “rounds.”

It turned out that the withdrawal process only reinforces the enemy’s belief in the justice of its path and our weakness[6], and leads to more violence. Then the Israeli leadership is forced to use the IDF to stop the attacks, but it does so within the framework of “Oslo” - that is, it is careful not to defeat the “partner”, without whom the new concept collapses and there is no one with whom to sign an agreement. The loss of a sense of national justice that comes with the recognition of the "Palestinian" people and its sovereignty in our country, delegitimize any military action, even if it is for self-defense, and therefore every civilian victim on the Arab side creates international pressure that is perceived in Israel as “heavy” to “unbearable.” The government, which in any case can not determine the objective of the operation, surrenders to international pressure, the IDF withdraws - and so on, until the next round.

The First Netanyahu Government: 18 June 1996 – 6 July 1999

Netanyahu continues Oslo

It was clear that Benjamin Netanyahu was not bringing an alternative message with him, but what was not expected was that Netanyahu’s lack of message would lead him, shortly after his election, to continue the agreement initiated by his rival and even embrace the PLO leader Yasser Arafat. The damage done by Netanyahu when he subjugated the entire “national camp” to the Oslo process was no less than that of Peres. So long as the process was only the fruit of the Left, there was a cloud of illegitimacy above the agreements among the Jewish majority in Israel.  Although Israel entered the trap, the road was still open. Netanyahu, who was elected by a tiny majority on the waves of opposition to Oslo, locked the trap on all of Israeli society - which remains trapped in the the process until today.

At the beginning of his tenure, Netanyahu tried to condition the continued implementation of the Oslo Accords and the handing over of Hebron to Arafat upholding his part in the agreement - among other things, to change the articles of the Palestinian Covenant calling for the destruction of Israel - but to no avail[7]. Netanyahu would soon discover that from the moment he recognized their legitimacy and “the just cause of Palestine,” he himself became the ultimate robber, the bad guy in the story, who is constantly under the obligation fix things, while the world no longer pays attention to “minutae”.

“If they give, they’ll get.  If they don’t give, they won’t get.”

On 4 September 1996, Netanyahu met for the first time with Yasser Arafat, while deluding himself that he could shift responsibility for the continuation of the process to the “Palestinian” side. Netanyahu then coined the expression “If they give, they’ll get; if they don’t give, they won’t get,” and insisted on the “Palestinians” fulfilling their commitments in the agreement. Of course the meeting ended with nothing. The principle of “If they give, they’ll get; if they don’t give, they won’t get” was quickly proven to be detached from the new reality of the Oslo process. Arafat quickly realized that Netanyahu had become subjugated to the process, just like his predecessors from the Left, and therefore the only valid principle for him was “If they don’t give territory - they won’t get quiet.” Two weeks after the fruitless meeting with Arafat, Netanyahu tried to portray business as usual, but Netanyahu apparently still did not understand the reality that he had nurtured in his meeting with Arafat. Oslo created a monster was been created that cannot be destroyed without giving up the agreements and the mentality that gave rise to them. Since Oslo, we have to feed the monster all the time with astronomical sums of money, Israeli sovereignty, and Israeli casualties - in order to buy security and political “artificial quiet” for a while.

The monster cannot be eliminated because “this is their country” - they are the just side. The world expects Israel, which recognized it, to adopt an active process of “repentance,” meaning more and more withdrawals, and certainly not the elimination of those whose legitimacy has been recognized. On the other hand, it is impossible to withdraw and provide the monster with its full desire, because, as Ernest Bevin testified in his 1947 speech[8]: “The basic aspiration of the Arabs of Eretz Israel is not national sovereignty in the Land of Israel, but rather the negation of any chance for Jewish sovereignty there.” The last thing they want is an independent state, and so Shimon Peres, Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert - who tried very hard to give roughly everything - received the same violent response as Netanyahu.

The Western Wall Tunnels

When Arafat realized that Netanyahu had locked himself in the trap of Oslo, he took advantage of his first opportunity - the opening of the Western Wall tunnel for tourists. This was territory under full Israeli sovereignty - an area that in the twenty years since then has always remained open, without any problem. Arafat took advantage of the opening of the tunnel as an excuse to launch an attack that killed 16 Israeli soldiers, some of whom were shot by Israeli weapons that were given to “their friends” the “Palestinians” on the joint patrols that were the pride of the Oslo Accords.

The Hebron Agreement

Netanyahu quickly learned the new principle and handed Hebron, the city of the Patriarchs, over to the “monster”, with the exception of a minuscule area near the Tomb of the Patriarchs and the Jewish community, in order to buy a period of quiet. He did not present any demands to the Palestinian Authority, declaring instead that it was the implementation of previous agreements. (Despite the fact that the delay in implementing these agreements until the Palestinian Authority met the conditions required of it was at the heart of his declared political position).

Wye agreement and continued withdrawals

The lull lasted only a short time, and in the summer of 1997, the suicide bombings were renewed, which led to pressure, to concessions and to the Wye agreement - according to which Israel was to withdraw from another 13% of the area. To Netanyahu’s credit, it should be said that he did not despair, and tried constantly to continue to create some kind of conditioning between the continued withdrawals and the fulfillment of Arab commitments. At the same time, Netanyahu held unofficial talks with the Syrians, and according to the Americans agreed to a complete withdrawal from the Golan Heights, but these contacts did not ripen into an agreement.

In any case, the Netanyahu government was disintegrating due to internal conflicts and disappointment on the right from its policy. The mobilization that Netanyahu enjoyed in the elections against Peres did not repeat itself, and in the 1999 elections, Ehud Barak won.

The Barak Government: May 1999 – Feb 2001

Ehud Barak’s short tenure - shorter than any other Israeli government - was characterized by an obsessive desire to reach any political achievement.

Negotiations on the Golan Heights

Barak first turned to the Syrian channel and offered a complete withdrawal to the international border. Barak did not understand that Ernst Bevin’s definition of the Jewish-Arab conflict was also valid for the Syrians - the conflict with Israel is an essential part of their self-definition and they must preserve it. The Syrians insisted on an Israeli withdrawal not only to the international border that passes only ten meters east of the Sea of Galilee, but to the actual water line, and a Syrian “partnership” on Israel’s main water source. Barak was forced to give up.

Flight from Lebanon

In July 2000, Barak tried to create an “achievement”[9] and ordered a unilateral withdrawal of all IDF forces from southern Lebanon, even without an agreement with the Syrians[10]. The panicked retreat included harsh scenes of Hezbollah’s takeover of Israeli equipment, attacks on the retreating IDF forces, and worst of all, the abuse of SLA soldiers and their families who had forged a long-standing blood pact with Israel and in one moment were betrayed and abandoned to their fate.[11]

In the wake of the withdrawal, which was presented as a brilliant and tremendous success, all of Lebanon’s south now harbors more than 150,000 rockets and rockets covering most of Israel, some of them GPS-based. The rockets located inside residential buildings, schools, mosques and clinics, and constitute a strategic arm of the Iranian regime against any attempt at Israeli defense against the Iranian nuclear threat. In the final analysis, the withdrawal from Lebanon led to a strategic collapse in the balance of power and deterrence against the Iranian threat.

The Camp David talks

In the same month (July 2000), Barak met with Arafat at Camp David and offered him 90% of all of Judea and Samaria as well as Palestinian sovereignty in the Muslim and Christian quarters of Jerusalem and on the Temple Mount and sovereignty in parts of Jerusalem in return for ending the conflict. American President Bill Clinton stood behind Israel's almost complete withdrawal proposal.

 

Barak’s optimism at the start of the talks was based on his willingness to withdraw from all territory, including the “holy places,” and the approach according to which the essence of the conflict is territorial. Of course, this strategy failed, and all he achieved was the public announcement: "We have no partner in Arafat at this time.”[12]

The Second Intifada

This “achievement” did not help Israel in the international arena. When he was forced to implement the agreement and end the conflict, Arafat, as was his habit, initiated acts of hostility that justified the outbreak of the second intifada. This time, Israeli Arabs, mostly in northern Israel, participated in violent demonstrations that turned into riots. Twelve Arab citizens of Israel were killed during the riots, and one Jewish citizen, Bechor Jan, was murdered from a rock attack on his car on the coastal road.

Ehud Barak was able to prove again how accurate Bevin’s definition was. The basis of the conflict is not the will of the Arabs of the Land of Israel for a state of their own, but their desire to destroy our state. Therefore, any real “progress” in the political process forces them to a violent explosion that perpetuates the conflict, which is at the heart of the “Palestinian” self-definition. Their goal is full Jewish withdrawal from all of the Land of Israel.

The sight of the lynching of IDF soldiers in Ramallah (12 October 2000) shocked the Israeli public: The Arab casualties increased the internal and international pressure, the Barak coalition disintegrated, the Arab factions withdrew their support, and Barak was forced to announce his resignation and run for new elections.

 

The First Sharon Government: 7 March 2001 – 28 Jan. 2003

The Israeli public was disillusioned with the Oslo process and by a decisive majority of 63%, elected Ariel Sharon. Sharon was perceived as a militant and a fighter[13] and as someone who could restrain the “monster,” but he two lacked a strategy to get out of the process. The bitterness of the Left during his tenure as Defense Minister in the Begin government and his eventual ouster, coupled with the simple fact that he really did not have an ideological alternative to the Oslo process led Sharon to form a unity government with the Labor Party.[14] Shimon Peres became foreign minister and Binyamin Ben-Eliezer defense minister, and to continue walking along the path of Oslo.

From “Restraint is Power” to “Defensive Shield”

The first year of the Sharon government was characterized by a wave of mass murders, unprecedented suicide and terror attacks, and total collapse of the sense of security on the Israeli street. Sharon responded with “a policy of restraint” and coined the phrase “restraint is also part of strength.” Sharon apparently understood that every reaction would work against him. Even the massacre at the Dolphinarium[15], where 21 Israelis were murdered, did not bring about any significant change. However, the Passover massacre at the Park Hotel in Netanya and the killing of 120 Israelis in a single month – March 2002 – forced the Sharon government to change its policy and reconquer the territories that had been handed over to the security responsibility of the Palestinian Authority[16] in the Oslo Accords.

The terrorist infrastructure established in Judea and Samaria was destroyed, but Israel refused to declare sovereignty over the territory. The principles of Oslo remained unchanged (as did the Palestinian Authority).

9-11

On September 11, 2001, suicide bombing attacks also hit the sponsors of the agreements: the US[17].  The attacks on the Twin Towers and on US President George W. Bush’s presidency, who was a conservative and sympathetic president, eased international pressure on Israel. In the relative quiet achieved from Operation Defensive Shield through the end of its term, Sharon's government was able to successfully stabilize the economy and rehabilitate the tourist industry, which suffered severe damage during the period of terror.

The separation fence

Still, heavy domestic pressure was exerted on Sharon to build the separation fence between Israel and the “Palestinians”. Whether it was due to his military expertise and his understanding that terrorism does not stop with fences or whether it was based on the understanding that the results of the construction of the fence would be primarily political and would pave the way for the establishment of a Palestinian state up to the fence – Sharon opposed it at the beginning of his government. At the same time, he succumbed to the pressure of the Left and switched to active support for it, while presenting its construction as the crowning glory of his security achievements.

Thus, the Oslo supporters again bypassed the “obstacle” of a democratic regime. Where they failed to impose the borders of ‘67 on the Jewish majority by means of a political decision - they did so by means of a so-called security decision - a decision that bypasses public debate and the choice of the majority.

The separation fence was completely political.[18] The route of the security fence was eventually adjusted to the route of the Green Line with the addition of a direct cost of NIS 4.7 billion beyond the cost of the initial route, which was already built in many places and subsequently dismantled. The original plans to build a fence adjacent to the terrorist strongholds - the Palestinian cities - were quickly abandoned, and it was decided to transfer them in most places to go around the Jewish settlements and isolate them from the surrounding area. The forces assigned to the security of the fence were large, but most of the activities to prevent terror continued to be carried out by IDF forces, the Shin Bet security service and the Border Police who were deep in the territory.

Instead of bringing support to Israel, which had actually withdrawn to the 1967 borders, the construction of the fence has led to increased international pressure on Israel. It is now accused of apartheid, and the fence has become the ultimate symbol of occupation.

The Second Sharon Government: 28 Oct. 2003 – 18 Dec. 2005

The Disengagement Plan

Sharon devoted his second term to completing the dramatic turnabout in his life. His declaration on the eve of the elections that “the law of Netzarim is like the law of Tel Aviv”[19] soon turned into a declaration[20] of a willingness to unilaterally withdraw from parts of Yesha while evacuating Jewish settlements.[21] Sharon fully adopted the new logic of Oslo. He understood that he could not offer a political alternative to the Oslo process, but as a leader, he sought to find a way to move it forward. The “bulldozer”[22] who was the defender and builder of the Land became a bulldozer of retreat and destruction. Unable to satisfy the “monster” or to defeat him, Sharon chose the only option in which he could leave the frozen Oslo process for a moment and show "progress" - the option of unilateral withdrawal.[23]

“Thanks to the disengagement plan, there is no criticism of Israel’s resolute activity against terrorism,”[24] Sharon told those who warned of the danger of abandoning Gaza to terrorists and their missiles. He repeated Yitzhak Rabin’s reaction to criticism of the Oslo Accords for handing over weapons to the PLO.

Neither the leaders of the Left nor of the Right, all of whom had adopted the logic of Oslo, understood that the outcome of the implementation of the agreements would not legitimize Israel’s self-defense, but would rather  undermine its legitimate right to defend itself. After all, if you recognize the just position of the enemy and unilaterally withdraw from the entire area, you merely prove by doing so that the Arabs’ claim to the ownership of the land of Israel has always been correct, and that presumably, justice is on their side even now.

As farfetched as it may sound, it was the Americans who vehemently opposed the disengagement plan. After the 9/11 attacks, the Bush administration was preoccupied with eradicating terrorism on a global scale. Israel’s flight, not to mention the leadership of the greatest fighter against terror – Sharon, without even an agreement was seen by them, with justice, as the collapse of the Western world’s front position in the face of the Muslim terrorist assault. Sharon was forced to invest great efforts to obtain cooperation and future commitments from the US administration in implementing the Israeli withdrawal plan.[25] 

Referendum of Likud members

As a significant factor in the Likud movement, the Manhigut Yehudit, from which Zehut emerged, succeeded in getting Sharon to announce a referendum among Likud members to decide on the question of the disengagement plan.

On 2 May 2004, the referendum was held and opponents of the withdrawal won a majority. Sharon acknowledged the loss but, backed by the media and a mobilized justice system,[26] Sharon announced that he had no intention of listening to the referendum that he himself initiated.

The expulsion of the residents of Gush Katif and northern Samaria was scheduled to take place on the day after Tisha B’Av 5768 (15 August 2005).

The results of the Disengagement

The razing of the Jewish communities to the ground, the expulsion of their residents and the complete withdrawal from the Gaza Strip[27] have turned Sderot and the communities in the area that has since become known as “the Gaza Envelope” into a hell of bombs and rockets[28] - an area that has expanded as the range and effectiveness of the missiles in the hands of the terror organizations who took over the area has increased. In exchange for maintaining relative quiet; i.e., only occasional rocket fire (“drizzle”), the Gazan monster demands a variety of benefits from Israel. For years, Israel has supplied Gaza with trucks of cash[29], and even today also supplies it with free electricity and free water[30], concrete and iron, which are also used to build terrorist tunnels[31, fertilizer for agriculture which is used in the manufacture of explosives, and other goods - and of course the gallons of blood shed by soldiers and civilians killed in “rounds of fighting”, which are repeated once every two years or so.

On January 4, 2006, at the height of the election campaign, Sharon suffered a stroke from which he did not wake up, and his deputy Ehud Olmert took his place.

 

 

[1] This refers to the average annual number of fatalities and injuries, before and since Oslo. For absolute numbers see “The Oslo Report”.

[2] The damage caused by a large number of “pinpoint” hits on vital targets is likely to equal and even exceed the damage caused by a nuclear bomb that damages a large area.

[3] With the exception of Hebron, which was later handed over by Netanyahu.

[4] The result of the Oslo Accords, not the replacement of Rabin with Peres. The phenomenon of suicide bombings in Israel began with the Oslo Accords, and during the Rabin government, before the assassination, the first 11 suicide attacks took place, in which 79 Israelis were murdered.

[5] A substantial part of which budget comes from Israel.

[6] The most eloquent expression of the fact that in the eyes of the Arabs Israel has been greatly weakened in the years since Oslo was in the speech of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on 26 May 2000, in which he said: “Israel is painted as having great military might and technological superiority, but Israeli society will not withstand more terrorist attacks, attacks and Katyushas. Israeli society is tired of wars and does not have the steadfastness and strength to withstand a bloody struggle and to absorb casualties.”

[7] In practice, the Palestinian Covenant has never been changed, despite the PLO’s misrepresentations.

[8] British Foreign Minister during the end of the Mandate in the Attlee government. One of the supporters and architects of the White Paper policy and the British preference for the Arabs, and not a lover of Zion, to say the least.

[9] In Israel, every withdrawal makes the responsible leader the media favorite and the “etrog”, immune to criticism and sometimes even immune from investigation. This fact may, and in fact did, also have had an effect on Barak’s reckless and irresponsible withdrawal in view of the investigations against him at the time about the associations.

[10] At the same time, the Syrian army and intelligence forces were stationed in Lebanese territory and dictated to a large extent what was happening there.

[11] The South Lebanon Army (SLA) operated in southern Lebanon from the end of the 1970s until the IDF withdrew from Lebanon in May 2000. The SLA acted as an extension of the IDF to assist Israel’s defense in southern Lebanon, primarily by protecting the “Security Belt“near the Israeli border. In order to understand the extent of the partnership, it should be noted that the Israeli Defense Ministry was responsible for the SLA budget. The withdrawal from Lebanon fell on the SLA fighters like a thunderstorm on a clear day, placing them and their families at immediate risk. On the day of the IDF’s withdrawal from Lebanon, approximately 7,800 SLA members and their families fled to Israel. Over the years since the withdrawal, no less than 3,000 of them have given up and returned to Lebanon, despite the danger to their lives. Some of the returnees are still imprisoned to this day; The lives of others have become hell. Among the harassment they undergo, former SLA members are called to Hezbollah investigations to determine whether they still hold allegiance to Israel - the state that did not know how remain loyal to them.

 

SLA soldiers fought, injured, and were killed alongside IDF soldiers. This was Israel’s most significant alliance with any faction in the Arab world. A historic alliance no less important than the peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan, due to the fact that a party outside of Israel’s borders decided to actively stand by us. Not secretly, but openly - on the battlefield, shoulder to shoulder with IDF soldiers.

 

Over the years the IDF operated in Lebanon, nearly 600 SLA fighters were killed and close to 1,500 injured.

 

Beyond the moral obligation to the SLA fighters, the treatment of their distress is also a strategic interest of the first order. The Arab world is watching to see how Israel treats its allies, and abandoning them will make it even more difficult to form alliances with communities and countries in the region. The plight of the SLA fighters is widely known in the Arab world, and serves Hezbollah as a propaganda tool: The message to those who considered cooperating with us is clear: At the moment of truth, Israel abandons its friends and allies..

 

(Some of the things here have been copied from the words of Eli Avidar, chairman of the Forum for the Middle East, a former head of the Israeli delegation in Qatar).

[12] The importance of this public announcement should not be underestimated, because for the first time since the beginning of the “peace process with the Palestinians”, the most senior and authorized official in Israel publicly admitted that peace can not be achieved. This announcement, and the difficult events shortly after, allowed a large Israeli public to finally recover from the illusion that the Oslo process would achieve peace.

[13] To Sharon’s credit were his impressive military achievements as commander in war, the elimination of terror in the Gaza Strip for 17 years of relative quiet, the expulsion of the PLO from Lebanon to Tunisia, and his activities and opinions as a minister and Knesset member.

[14] Sharon paved the way for a convention according to which the right needs the left in its government not from political coalition need, but rather to legitimize its rule, in the absence of a political message different from that of the left.

[15] 01 June 2001

[16] According to the Oslo Accords, the Palestinians were given security control, the implementation of which was entrusted to “the Palestinian security forces” in part of the area, which was called “Area A”. This category includes, first and foremost, all Palestinian cities handed over by Peres to Arafat immediately after Rabin’s assassination. This Palestinian control constituted a barrier to the entry and operation of the IDF in these areas.

[17] This was not the first major suicide bombing attack against the United States, but until the attacks of the Twin Towers, the Americans themselves had not internalized the fact that war was being conducted against them.

[18] At the beginning of the planning of the fence, its route was intended to serve the security purpose for which it was built without reference to the Green Line, but mainly to the principle of separation between the Palestinian and Jewish populations. By means of the High Court of Justice, the left-wing parties, led by Peace Now, succeeded repeatedly in pushing the separation fence to the route of the Green Line on the basis of claims of disproportionate harm to the Arab population and dubious claims of private ownership. Thus, the fence, perceived by the left as the greatest threat to the vision of a Palestinian state, became the fortification of the Green Line and the border between the State of Israel and the planned Palestinian state. Fifteen years later, its construction has not yet been completed..

[19] Against Amram Mitzna’s platform from the Labor Party he was competing with, which included a moderate unilateral withdrawal from the isolated settlements in the Gaza Strip, starting with Netzarim.

[20] At the 2003 Herzliya Conference

[21] Thus, Sharon created a precedent of dismantling Jewish settlements with no compensation in return for a peace agreement.

[22] “Bulldozer” was the nickname that stuck to Ariel Sharon during his military service.

[23] Many blame the destruction obsession on Sharon’s need to remove the stranglehold of criminal investigations that threatened to bring him down at the time. The forgiving attitude he received from the media, which did little to report on the acts of corruption he was charged with, reinforces the claim that “the depth of the uprooting matched the depth of the investigation ...” as Zvi Hendel, then Deputy Minister of Education, said. In any case, it was the Oslo consciousness within which the prime minister acted that directed him in the first place to this “solution.”

[24] From Sharon’s speech at the 5th Herzliya Conference, 2004

[25] It is important to remember this fact when Israel’s withdrawals are blamed on external pressure. It is withdrawals which bring pressure on us, and not vice versa.

[26] And perhaps out of fear of renewed criminal investigations against him and the price that the system could cost him and his family -- investigations that were “surprisingly” frozen during the implementation of the disengagement plan.

[27] From Gaza itself, Israel withdrew almost immediately after the signing of the first Oslo agreement, which was then called the “Gaza and Jericho First” Agreement.

[28] As well as sniper fire and the direct launch of missiles, and the digging of attack tunnels.

[29] The direct supply of cash actually ended in 2010, but funding continued through other channels.

[30] The PA generally does not pay for the electricity and water it consumes from Israel.  Israel occasionally collects part of the debt from the tax revenues it collects for the PA.

[31] Findings on the ground and analysis of consumption data conducted after Operation Tzuk Eitan showed that a large part of the Gaza Strip’s electricity consumption was used to dig the many terrorist tunnels. The consumption of cement and fertilizers in the Gaza Strip also far exceeded that of civilian construction and agriculture. The large differences between imports and consumption are the quantities directed to terrorism.

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