Topic:

West Bank

Annexing Parts of the West Bank Area C: An Israeli National Interest

The former commanders who are demanding a referendum on the possible annexation of parts of the West Bank’s Area C misunderstand the threats confronting Israel. One need only consider the latest round of fighting in Gaza to understand what the threat to the cities of the coastal plain would look like if Israel were to give up control of the mountainous terrain dominating the country’s economic-social-industrial heartland.

The West Bank’s Area C: Israel’s Eastern Line of Defense

This study explores the strategic-military implications of the establishment of a Palestinian state along the pre-June 1967 lines. Its central thesis is that the creation of such a state, on the heels of the IDF’s total withdrawal from the West Bank, will not only deprive Israel of defensible borders but will almost certainly lead to the advent of a terrorist entity like the one created in the Gaza Strip – at a stone’s throw from the Israeli hinterland.

Benny Gantz’s Dangerous Ambiguity on West Bank Disengagement

| February 18, 2019

Unilateral disengagement from the West Bank, which Israeli PM candidate Benny Gantz seems to support, would have far-reaching adverse implications for Israel in the security, economic, social, infrastructural, and ecological spheres.

The Two Major Strategic Turning Points of 2018

| December 25, 2018

Last summer’s events in the Gaza Strip cast serious doubt on the feasibility of a complete Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank, as the proximity of that area to Israel’s main population centers and economic/strategic assets ensures its transformation into the main combat zone should it undergo a militarization process similar to that experienced by Gaza and Lebanon. The question is whether the IDF has an effective response to the advent of parallel major threats on several fronts.

Between Rabin’s Legacy and the INSS Plan

| November 23, 2018

The Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), led by Maj. Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin, recently issued “A Political-Security Framework Strategic Action Plan for the Israeli-Palestinian Arena.” The gap between the INSS initiative and the basic principles expressed by PM Yitzhak Rabin is such that one might assume Rabin would have been fundamentally opposed to the initiative.

The Israeli Security Concept: Wandering Through a Maze

| November 15, 2018

The recent round of fighting between Israel and Hamas was seemingly sparked by the exposure of an Israeli special forces team during a covert operation in Khan Yunis. The Hamas leadership, which apparently is not interested in war, nevertheless chose to respond by escalating to the very brink. Why has the Israeli government refrained (yet again) from instructing the IDF to settle the Hamas threat?

Khan Ahmar: Israel’s Opportunity

While there is little doubt that the Bedouin settlement of Khan Ahmar (on the Jerusalem-Dead Sea road) was illegally built, the decision to move its residents to an alternative site needs to be reassessed despite its approval by the Supreme Court. It involves much broader strategic questions than the necessity to enforce the rule of law in one particular case.

Letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

| September 17, 2018

Mr. Prime Minister,

The state of Israel and its citizens have been fortunate to have you at the helm for the past nine years. One can readily envisage the nightmare scenarios had your ideological and political opponents been leading the country. Your steadfast opposition to the “peace plan” that President Barack Obama tried to dictate has been particularly significant. And yet, there is a lingering concern about your demographic vision of the spatial arrangement of the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. Not least because your government’s long-term construction plans envisage the concentration of most of Israel’s population in the crowded coastal strip and the Dan metropolitan area (Gush Dan).

The Price of Israeli Withdrawal: Lessons from the Past

| September 14, 2018

Prominent politicians still advocate withdrawal from the West Bank. A simple analysis of pertinent basic data that appears in the Shin Bet’s terrorist summary for the year 2006 alone shows that the idea of withdrawal, which would imply the cessation of IDF activity in the area, could be misguided and dangerous.

The Illusion of Israeli-Palestinian Spatial Separation

The situation in the Gaza Strip since the 2005 disengagement debunks three fundamental assumptions that have become axiomatic in the Israeli security discourse: that total separation between Israelis and Palestinians will inevitably enhance security and stability; that the IDF will comfortably win any future confrontation in the evacuated territories; and that Israeli military activity in the previously held territories will enjoy massive international legitimacy and support.