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There Is No Way to Defend Israel without Israeli Troops along the Jordan River

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There Is No Way to Defend Israel without Israeli Troops along the Jordan River – David Samuels interviews Yaakov Amidror (Tablet)
(Daily Alert, Feb. 5, 2014)

Maj. Gen. Yaakov Amidror, former head of the Israeli National Security Council, said in an interview:

“If the Americans succeed in bringing to [an Israeli-Palestinian] agreement all of the elements that are needed – namely, to make sure that there is a secure buffer between the Palestinian state and the Arab world, that there is not going to be a new Gaza in Ramallah, and that Israel will have satisfactory arrangements to deal with emerging terrorist capabilities within the West Bank – …then I think the agreement will be something that Israel can live with.”

“There is no way to get there [assuring Israeli security interests] without Israeli forces along the Jordan River. There is no question about that. This is the minimum, without which there is no way to have the necessary capabilities in our hands….About security, it’s very clear to every professional that without having Israeli troops along the Jordan River, there is no way to defend the State of Israel, and to have the arrangements which are needed in the future, when Israel might face problems from the east, or from within the Palestinian areas.”

“When the time will come that we can say to ourselves, it’s not needed anymore, that relations between the Palestinians and Israel are like relations between France and Germany, we can leave….It’s not a question of time. It’s a question of capabilities, and the determination to use the capabilities. And when the Palestinians will have the capabilities, which they don’t have today, and the determination to use those capabilities, which they also don’t have today, and when both those criteria are met, then, in the future, we might come to a situation in which Israeli troops will not be needed.”

Q: How about NATO troops on the Jordan River?

Amidror: “One of the principles that Israel has been very clear about since the founding of the state is that we are not outsourcing our security to anyone. We don’t expect, and we don’t want, others to do the job for us…[and] we don’t want American soldiers to sacrifice their lives for the security of Israel.”

“In the Six-Day War, when I was a paratrooper, we entered Gaza; after some hours of fighting, the UN forces were marching out of Gaza. So I learned the principle of international guarantees then, and even more so when I became the intelligence officer for the Northern Command, and I saw how UNIFIL was a problem for us, and provides good cover for Hizbullah. And that’s still true today. After the 2006 operation in Lebanon, when the new UNIFIL force was set up, they didn’t provide even one report about one case of Hizbullah bringing munitions, shells and rockets into the south.”

“So with all due respect to all those who promise us that international forces will do the job for us, there is absolutely no basis to make those promises, based on our experience in the past.”

“We are very, very determined on this point: Only Israeli forces can make us sure that we will not find ourselves living with another Gaza Strip in Ramallah, which is five miles from the Israeli parliament in the city of Jerusalem. This is so important for us that we are not going to give it away.”

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