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Background: Israel sees dropping security as win-win situation (IMRA-INDEPENDENT MEDIA REVIEW ANALYSIS) Aaron Lerner Date: 30 January 2005)Source: http://www.imra.org.il/story.php3?id=23888 IMRA} INDEPENDENT MEDIA REVIEW ANALYSIS IMRA} INDEPENDENT MEDIA REVIEW ANALYSIS Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
The Sharon administration´s decision to rapidly drop security measures is being explained as driven by the overarching interest to insure that in the eyes of the Bush Administration the "ball" is on the Palestinian side of the court and that in the case of Palestinian failure that that failure cannot be blamed on Israel.

Israel sees this as a win-win situation: if somehow the PA security forces somehow rise to the occasion and stop terror attacks and also begin taking effective measures to break up the terror infrastructure then Israel will benefit from the ongoing quiet. On the other hand, the argument goes, Israel is so radically dropping security measures that if the PA cannot or doesn´t not want to fill the gap the situation will deteriorate to the point that the Bush Administration will allow Israel a free hand - not only in operations to clean up after the "experiment", but more importantly - in delineating post-Gaza retreat security regimens, specifically control of the "security envelope" around what is to become an entity with some kind of sovereignty.

A few score dead Israelis over the next few months might be troubling, to an extent, on a domestic level, but such losses could be written off as PA "growing pains" that should not impact policy. On the other hand, the argument goes, the wholesale abandonment of security measures could quickly lead to a level and scope of Israeli casualties that Bush and Rice could not ignore.

It should be noted that the Israeli move is essentially an open invitation for the Palestinian production and deployment of rockets in the West Bank that could hit cities in the center rather than periphery of Israel. Rocket makers in the Gaza Strip can also exploit the absence of the IDF to extend missile range to reach strategic targets in Ashkelon and beyond.

If Israel maintained some degree of security control to protect its citizens it could take many months - if not longer - for the Palestinian militias to reach critical mass. Dropping security accelerates the process, creating a situation that even as early as March/April the militias may be so heavily armed that they will ignore those Palestinians who argue for restraint until at least Israel retreats from the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria under arrangements imposed by the Quartet rather than terms set unilaterally by Israel.

Unfortunately, as is the case with most Israeli strategies, the above assumes that the other player doesn´t also move his chess pieces. It is not beyond the realm of possibilities that Israel may find itself burying its dead while the world accept the spin that the true victims of Palestinian terror are Abu Mazen and his administration. (IMRA.ORG.IL 01/30/05)

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