Report: Israeli Defense Minister Says IDF Withdrawal From West Bank Could Lead to Hamas Conquest
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has adopted the attitude of many senior Israel Defense Forces officers, arguing that the IDF must not surrender its ability to operate freely throughout Judea and Samaria, Israeli daily Walla reported on Sunday.
Currently, the United States is offering Israel, as part of the ongoing diplomatic negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, the right to establish early warning stations and run advanced sensors and unmanned aerial vehicles within the territory, Walla said. In exchange, Israel is being pressured to surrender its claim to the Jordan Valley and allow complete freedom of movement to Palestinian-Arabs, Walla reports.
Many Israeli security officials along with Defense Minister Ya’alon are convinced that such concessions will lead to an increase in terrorist attacks against Israel, Walla said.
Specifically, Ya’alon claims that if the Gaza “disengagement” model is adopted for leaving Judea and Samaria, the terrorist organization ruling the Gaza Strip -Hamas- could well topple Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas from power.
According to the report, Ya’alon said in a recent closed-door meeting that, “We will not transfer the security of our citizens to any foreign entity.”
As cited by Walla, a senior defense official added that, “Thanks to the IDF’s freedom of action [throughout Judea and Samaria], Hamas, Islamic Jihad and extremist Salafist groups can not even raise their heads in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria]. Just last month we saw what Special Forces had to do [to prevent terrorist attacks against Israel] in the village of Yatta in the South Hebron Hills, Jenin, Qalqiliya , Nablus and elsewhere. U.S. drones cannot stop suicide bombers in Jenin nor uncover bomb factories. ”
The defense official concluded that, “If we compromise the IDF’s freedom of action and hand over security responsibilities to the Palestinians, we will see missiles being launched from Nablus onto Kfar Saba and Ben Gurion Airport. Currently, the IDF and Shin Bet are doing the hard work of fighting Hamas. The Palestinian Authority has not been able to successfully combat terrorist activity,” Walla reported.