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March 30, 2017 1:40 pm

Think Tank: Unilateral West Bank Withdrawal Would Expose Tel Aviv Area to Same Rocket Threats Faced in Southern Israel

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A graphic illustrating the rocket threats that could result from a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank. Photo: Screenshot.

A unilateral withdrawal from the West Bank would harm Israel’s security, according to a new video published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) think tank.

“While the current situation in the West Bank may not be desirable, unilateral moves represent a flawed and counterproductive response,” Hirsh Goodman — a senior JCPA researcher — said in the video.

Were it to pull out of the West Bank without a peace deal with the Palestinians, the JCPA emphasized, the Jewish state would be exposing its heavily-populated coastal region — including the Tel Aviv metropolitan area — to similar rocket threats already faced by residents of southern Israel for many years now.

“Israel’s ability to effectively contain, preempt or respond to threats will be limited and the essential intelligence benefits afforded by the current deployment would be adversely affected,” the video also noted.

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Alan Baker — a former Israeli ambassador to Canada and currently the head of the JCPA’s Legal Forum — pointed out in the video, “Legally speaking, clearly no unilateral move could have any validity under international law, since all related agreements, including the Oslo Accords, commit both sides to seek a negotiated peaceful outcome of all outstanding issues. By definition, that means that anything one-sided or unilateral isn’t negotiated and therefore can’t be acceptable.”

A JCPA-commissioned poll published earlier this week found that only 26% of Israelis would support a unilateral withdrawal from the West Bank, while 61% oppose such a scenario.

Watch the JCPA video below:

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