JERUSALEM Ñ The Geneva Accords, supported by the European Union and
the United States, have been bereft of security arrangements that ensure a
role for Israel's military in any agreement with the Palestinians.
A report by a leading Israeli think tank asserts that the understandings
reached between a group of Israeli opposition politicians and those aligned
with Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat virtually eliminate the
role of the Israeli military in defending the West Bank and Gaza Strip from
Arab or Palestinian attack. The report said the document does not resemble
any of the security guarantees sought by the late Prime Minister Yitzhak
Rabin, who signed the 1993 Oslo accords with the PLO.
Instead, the report by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
maintained, the Israeli interlocutors of the Geneva understandings replaced
security guarantees by a proposal for an international force to police the
West Bank and Gaza Strip. The security arrangements long demanded by Israel,
the report said, were also substituted by a pledge for Israeli-Palestinian
"In essence, almost all of Israel's security requirements were exchanged
for the idea of deploying a foreign military presence that will be
supervised by an international committee created to oversee the agreement's
implementation," the report, entitled "The Geneva Accords: A Strategic
Assessment," said. "Israel's security needs were also conceded in return for
basically empty declarations about cooperation between Israeli and
Palestinian security establishments. According to the logic of Geneva, the
Israel Defense Forces can be dismantled, for the IDF has no role in fighting
terrorism and in defending the state of Israel. These responsibilities,
according to Geneva, will now lay with the proposed international force."
The report said the Geneva document eliminates Israel's right to
self-defense and places its security in the hands of the international
committee that will include the European Union and the United Nations. This
marks a departure from Israel's policy to ensure its own defense.
Authored by the former head of military intelligence's research
division, Maj. Gen. Yaakov Amidror, the report said the Geneva Accords do
not contain a security safety net for Israel. The only reference to Israeli
defense includes the right for the Israel Air Force to conduct military
exercises in the air space over Palestine and the stationing of two
The report termed the Israeli right to maintain what it termed isolated
early-warning stations as worthless. The understandings Ñ which provide for
the settlement of an unspecified number of Palestinian refugees in Israel Ñ
not contain a provision for the deployment of Israeli forces in the Jordan
Valley if the Jewish state is threatened from the east.
"Israel would have no control, or even an Israeli presence, at the
borders between Palestine and Egypt or Jordan in order to thwart the
infiltration of terrorist elements into Palestinian territory," the report
said. "There would be no Israeli presence at the international entry points,
or at Palestinian airports and seaports, in order to prevent the smuggling
of illegal weaponry, which was attempted regularly during the Oslo years."
Under the Geneva understandings, the report said, the Palestinians are
provided a corridor from the Gaza Strip through Israeli territory and to the
West Bank. Israelis, however, do not have the rights of passage through
Palestinian areas in the West Bank in trying to reach the Dead Sea or
Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.
The report does not allow Israel to operate against Palestinian
insurgency cells in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the report said. This
would also include the right of retaliation for Palestinian missile and
rocket attacks on the Jewish state.
"It is a sad irony that the language on Israel's rights in the Geneva
Accord leave it only with the option of issuing a
complaint, even if it detects the movement of tanks and armored vehicles
within the Palestinian corridor it is to create between the West Bank and
the Gaza Strip," the report said. "This encapsulates the extent to which
Israeli security was treated irresponsibly in the Geneva Accord."
The report said the Geneva understandings demand that Israel, which is
not accorded water rights, continue its withdrawal from the West Bank, Gaza
Strip and eastern Jerusalem even if Palestinian violence continues. The
Israeli military, the report said, will lose the high ground from which to
protect the Tel Aviv coastal plain from Palestinian or Arab rocket and
"Israel has the right to complain to the international committee, but it
may not halt its withdrawal, even if Israel has solid confirmation that the
Palestinian Authority is not lifting a finger to combat terrorism or if
there are intelligence indications that
it is actually providing tangible assistance to terrorist groups," the
report said. "Even under these conditions, Israel is required to transfer
territories vital to its national defense and to concede its ability to