IDF Against Ease of Restrictions on Palestinians

Hanan Greenberg

IDF Against Ease of Restrictions on Palestinians

While army prepares to implement political echelon’s orders to remove 27 West Bank roadblocks, senior military officials warn of terror organizations taking advantage of breach in order to carry out attacks



Voices were heard Monday evening in the Israel Defense Forces against the comprehensive plan to ease restrictions on the Palestinians.

The plan was approved Monday afternoon during a discussion held at the prime minister’s office, which was attended by senior defense establishment officials. It includes the removal of 27 roadblocks, a change in the criteria for the passage of people and good through crossings and an ease of restrictions on VIPs and international organizations.

Senior officials in the IDF, however, told Ynet on Monday evening that the ease of restrictions, mainly in the West Bank, should be carried out in a gradual and cautious manner.

According to the sources, incidents in which terror organizations took advantage of the ease of restrictions in order to carry out attacks have already occurred in the past.

“We all hope that a terror attack will not take place as a result of this ease of restrictions, which will make the entire relief basket irrelevant,” said one of the officers.

IDF officials, however, made it clear that the army would implement all the political echelon’s decisions. Before each operation in the field, the military will hold an evaluation of the situation, following which the operations will be carried out in practice.

‘No Significant Danger’

And while the IDF was preparing to carry out the decision, while carefully criticizing the move, Major General (res.) Danny Rothschild, chairman of the Council for Peace and Security, told Ynet that “the people of Israel can take such a risk if they want to bolster Abu Mazen (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas).”

According to Rothschild, “This does not constitute a significant danger, because the terrorists are not seeking to pass through roadblocks and are anyway looking for baypass roads.”

He added that the release of prisoners should not constitute a problem as well and could take place as part of the agreement.

The IDF and the defense establishment recently implicitly and directly criticized a different political decision – to continue the restraint policy in spite of the ongoing firing of rockets at Israel.

In all the security discussions held recently, senior IDF officials and Defense Minister Amir Peretz voiced their opinion that the existing equation must be changed and that the army must operate specifically against Qassam cells.

In the meantime, however, the IDF continues to operate according to the political echelon’s order not to respond.

The defense establishment fears that the ongoing fire from the Gaza Strip will lead to casualties, which will force Israel to change its pattern of operation, and therefore believes that the army should operate now rather than wait for a situation in which Israel will have operate in response to a severe incident taking place.

Lieutenant Colonel (res.) Meir Indor, director of the Almagor Terror Victims Association, expressed his doubts over Major General (res.) Rothschild’s remarks.

“The entire principle of blocking terrorists is built on blocking the main roads by roadblocks and channeling the terrorists into the stream areas and bypass roads, where it is easier to attack them as there is no population or traffic which they can assimilate into.”

According to Indor, the roadblocks have proved their efficiency in thwarting terror attacks in the past.

Almagor: Refuse Re-Entry to Haniyeh

Almagor: Refuse Re-Entry to Haniyeh

Israel National News


The Almagor organization, which assists families of victims of Arab terror, is calling upon the government to prevent the entry of Hamas Chieftain Ismail Haniyeh into Gaza when he returns from Iran. Almagor issued its call after Haniyeh declared in Iran that he and his government will never recognize the State of Israel.

The Almagor statement continued, “It is forbidden to allow a man the option of meeting with the regime of the Ayatollahs who openly declare their intent to destroy us, and then permit him to return and nest in the terror swamp which is spreading adjacent to our southern cities.”

Question Marks Regarding the Price for Abductees

Hillel Fendel

Question Marks Regarding the Price for Abductees

Serious questions are being raised amidst reports that two Israeli captives were seriously wounded in Lebanon, and prospects of an exchange of 1,400 terrorist prisoners for another abducted soldier.

Israel National News


“We must do everything possible in order to free the captive soldiers.” This declaration has been sounded many times by many leading government and other figures – but at least one organization has some question marks about it.

“We want to initiate public debate,” the Almagor Terror Victims Association says in a statement released Thursday, “about the popularly-heard slogan that ‘everything, but everything, must be done to free the hostages’ – alluding even to a call to release dangerous terrorists.”

Almagor, headed by Lt.-Col. (res.) Meir Indor [pictured], says, “This dilemma, a difficult ethical and strategic question, must undergo debate within the Israeli society. It has ramifications on the lives of everyone.”

Reports are rife that Israel is prepared to release 1,400 terrorist prisoners, in three stages, in return for IDF Cpl. Gilad (ben Aviva) Shalit. Shalit was kidnapped, and two soldiers were killed, nearly six months ago by Hamas terrorists as his unit was guarding the Gaza border.

Almagor does not pretend not to have an opinion on the matter. It presents statistics showing that the price paid after previous terrorist releases has been very high indeed. “122 Israelis were killed in at least 14 terrorist attacks perpetrated by terrorists who were released in the past ten years,” the organization states. In addition, hundreds were murdered or wounded by some of the 1,160 terrorists freed in the famous Jibril exchange of 1986.

“We continue to pay the price of these death deals even today, in waves of terrorism organized by those who were freed,” Almagor states. “Some of them have become terror masters, who initiate, organize and pay for terror attacks regularly.”

Almagor also notes an emotional-psychological aspect of the problem: “The Western world recognizes the need of crime victims to see that those who hurt them are punished. What happens, emotionally, to terror victims who see how terrorism emerges triumphant with terrorists being freed again and again?!”

Report: Soldiers Were Seriously Wounded

An IDF report publicized on Wednesday says that the two soldiers kidnapped by Hizbullah five months ago – Eldad (ben Tova) Regev and Ehud (ben Malka) Goldwasser – were seriously wounded during the abduction. One of them was considered to be in “very serious” condition, with the evaluation that if not taken to a trauma unit within an hour of the abduction, he is not likely to have survived.

The report, based on evidence found at the kidnapping site, was released after Prime Minister Olmert’s controversial remarks about the two soldiers. He told a group of high school students earlier this week, “If they are alive – and I believe they are – it is better that they remain in captivity a bit longer and not have additional soldiers die.” The family members of the two soldiers criticized Olmert for his words, advising him to “do more and talk less.”

Kassam Rocket Lands

In other security-related news: A Kassam rocket was fired by Gaza terrorists towards the western Negev over night. No one was hurt and no damage was caused. The rocket landed around 2:00 in the morning near Kibbutz Saad. It was the 18th rocket, according to most counts, to have been fired by Palestinian terrorists since the ceasefire went into effect 12 days ago.

An Arab was apprehended outside the Machpelah Cave in Hevron this morning (Friday) carrying a 15-centimeter (6-inch) long knife. Many Jews frequent the Cave on Friday and Sabbath.