1. ISRAEL DISENGAGED ITSELF FROM GAZA ALREADY IN 1993 (and from 40% of Judea and Samaria), in accordance with the Oslo Accords. The outcome has been: 1,400 Israelis murdered by Palestinian terrorists during the last 10 years, compared with 215 murdered during the 15 years prior to Oslo. 8,000 Jews reside in Gaza, disengaged from the Arab population. Israel’s military presence there is in response to Palestinian terrorism.
2. EARLE G. WHEELER, CHAIRMAN OF THE JOINT C-O-S: “The occupation of Gaza by Israel would reduce the hostile border by a factor of five, and eliminate a source for raids and training of [Palestinian terrorists]… By occupying the Gaza Strip, Israel would trade approximately 45 miles of hostile border for eight. Configured as it is, the strip serves as a salient for introduction of Arab subversion and terrorism, and its retention would be to Israel’s military advantage… Gaza provides a salient into Israel… It has served as a training area for [Palestinian terrorists]” (Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense on Israel’s minimum requirements for security, June 29, 1967). Wheeler’s recommendation is doubly relevant in 2004, when the world is less predictable (than in 1967), the Mideast is more explosive, rogue regimes are more armed, terrorism is more widespread and horrific, and the PLO/PA has systematically and terroristically violated every commitment during the last 10 years.
3. ISRAEL’S CHIEF-OF-STAFF, YA’ALON: “Uprooting of settlements would be a tail wind to terrorism” (Herzeliya, March 12, 2003); “[evacuation of Gaza] would be perceived by Palestinians as a crack in our steadfastness, and would bolster terrorism” (Yediot Achronot, Dec. 26, 2003); “IDF evacuation of Gaza would accelerate smuggling of military supplies to Gaza” (Ma’ariv, Mar. 1, 2004). ISRAEL’S CHIEF OF SHIN BET (Secret Service), DICHTER: “An evacuation of Gaza would be perceived as a Palestinian victory, bolstering terrorism” (Ma’ariv Feb. 11, 2004). ISRAEL’S CHIEF OF MILITARY INTELLIGENCE, ZE’EVI-FARKASH: “Sharon’s proposed withdrawal from Gaza is perceived as a victory of terrorism, bolstering Islamic terrorism” (Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Feb. 10, 2004).
4. PRIME MINISTER SHARON: “Israeli evacuation of Gaza… would transform Gaza’s main square to a launching platform of missiles to Israel’s Ashqelon… Terrorism can be destroyed, if we control its bases… In 1970, Gaza was controlled by terrorists, because Israel evacuated the populated areas and the refugee camps… The cost would be much higher, if Israel repeats that mistake… A flight from populated areas, and a failure to annihilate of the threat in its incept, would require a much longer and a more difficult effort…” (Ma’ariv, June 12, 1992). Sharon’s OpEd is doubly accurate in 2004, as is Wheeler’s Memorandum.