A new report stated that Israel's military must establish a security zone to
ensure the effectiveness of any security fence and barrier system in the
The report by the Washington Institute said a security zone will ensure
that infiltrators cannot approach the fence and barrier system being
constructed along the West Bank. The report said Israel's military should
adopt the lessons of the 60-kilometer security fence erected along the Gaza
Strip in 2002.
The report, authored by [Res.] Maj. Gen. Doron Almog, former head of the
military's Southern Command, said a security buffer zone must be supported
by rules of engagement that would prevent infiltrators. He said a security
zone of one kilometer in depth was established in the Gaza Strip in 2001
after Palestinians attacked and dismantled nearly 30 kilometers of the fence
in late 2000 in damages estimated at $25 million.
The report said Israel's military must complete the following tasks to
replicate the Gaza defensive model in the West Bank.
They would include clearing an area for a security buffer zone [SBZ],
special rules of engagement, installing sensors as well as physical
barriers, establishing a system of electro-optical observation posts, and
deloying professional troops to carry out the mission.
"Most of these components have been implemented in the new seam zone
project in the West Bank," the report said. "Yet, two key components have
been omitted from completed portions of this project: a bulldozed SBZ and
special rules of engagement.
" Based on the long-term assumption of enduring war against Palestinian
terrorism, Israel must implement these components as it has done in Gaza,"
the report said. "In the case of SBZs, Israel should assert control over
vital land that is needed to protect the most precious resource of any
democratic state -- its citizens. Any such hesitation will force Israelis to
pay an even higher price than they already have."
Almog said the security system along the Gaza Strip allowed Israeli
troops to see up to five kilometers at all times of day. The
security outposts also featured a continuous monitoring and videotaping
system. The report said that Palestinian insurgents managed to overcome the
electronic fence in eight instances before being captured by the Israeli
The report said Palestinian insurgents could be expected to develop new
tactics to overcome any West Bank security fence and barrier. Almog
recommended a multi-layered system that combines defensive and offiensive
"If there is any deterrence against suicide bombers guided by a
fanatical ideology, it is 'cumulative deterrence,' a strategy that
encompasses a variety of defensive and offensive foiling measures," the
report said. "Given the Gaza defensive system's ability to completely
prevent terrorist infiltration into Israel, it is imperative that the
Israeli government implement a strong, lasting defensive system in the West
Bank for the protection of the vast majority of the country's six million