IDF general against aid cut-off to PA & ‘Jewish terrorism’

IDF general against aid cut-off to PA & ‘Jewish terrorism’

In a NY Times news article, Times Jerusalem Bureau chief, Ethan Bronner, reports on his conversation with an outgoing IDF West Bank commander:

‘Israel’s West Bank General Warns Against Radicals’ 

The Israeli general in charge of most of the West Bank has a message for members of Congress who want to end American aid to the Palestinian Authority because of its bid to join the United Nations: Don’t do it.
Brig. Gen. Nitzan Alon, commander of the Judea and Samaria Division, said that such a step would lead to instability and insecurity for both Palestinians and Israelis.
“Stability in the region includes the ability of the Palestinian Authority to pay its salaries,” General Alon said this week in a rare on-the-record interview, reflecting a consensus among Israeli defense officials. “Reducing the Palestinians’ ability to pay decreases security. American aid is relevant to this issue.” ….
In a wide-ranging conversation, he … [also] spoke with great concern about increasing violence by radical Israeli settlers, which he called “Jewish terrorism.” “We should do much more to stop it,” he said.

He called for more police officers and for getting them to shift some focus from their main mission of protecting settlers to stopping radicals. The army has sent some troops in for this.
General Alon said violence was a problem in both directions. He said Palestinian rock-throwing had increased since the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, went to the United Nations last month, leading to the deaths of a settler and his infant son whose car turned over after they were pelted. In recent months, the militant settlers have burned several mosques and destroyed acres of Palestinian olive and fig trees. Last week, dozens of settlers surrounded an Israeli Army vehicle and assaulted soldiers.  ….
There is clearly a public-relations battle under way. Most of the world shares the Palestinian position that the settlements are illegal and illegitimate, so anti-settler agitation is seen as less offensive than anti-Palestinian activity. Even within Israel, some of the more radical settlements are seen as politically costly.
… over the past three years, calm has largely prevailed over the West Bank. Palestinian forces mostly control about 40 percent, Israelis the rest. But even the 40 percent, where most Palestinians live, is subject to nightly raids. General Alon said that a few years ago, Israeli troops went into the West Bank more than a dozen times a night, but that is down by half now. …
But General Alon said the current rate of intervention was required to maintain intelligence dominance. He gave as an example the recent arrest of two men accused of throwing the rocks that caused the car crash that killed the settler and his son. The Israelis went into the village of Halhoul themselves because, he said, they were afraid to compromise certain intelligence sources and worried that the Palestinians would not make the arrests.
General Alon said that the effectiveness of the Palestinian security forces depended on how they were seen at home.
“As long as they see them as patriots working to build a Palestinian state, they will be able to keep working with us,” he said of the Palestinian forces. “If there is no political horizon, cooperation is endangered.” ….

By | 2011-10-12T14:20:00-04:00 October 12th, 2011|Blog|0 Comments

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