Free Headline Alerts     
Worldwide Web


Friday, May 21, 2010     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Israel military planners see West Bank takeover

TEL AVIV — Israel envisions a takeover of the West Bank in any regional war.


Officials said Israel's military has been preparing for the prospect that it would be required to recapture the West Bank as part of any regional war. They said the scenario was that Palestinians in the West Bank would join such Iranian proxies as Hamas and Hizbullah in battling the Jewish state.

"We must remember that there are agents in the West Bank who have not disappeared entirely from the Palestinian scene and could participate in anti-Israel activity," Maj. Gen. Avi Mizrahi, head of the military's Ground Forces Command, said. "We may even pay a certain price in the beginning, but we will know how to handle this."

Also In This Edition

On May 17, the Israel Army conducted an exercise that called for troops to rapidly capture a Palestinian city in the West Bank, Middle East Newsline reported. The scenario of the one-day exercise envisioned that Palestinian Authority police units would attack Israeli civilians and soldiers in the West Bank.

"As of now I don't foresee negative developments in the West Bank," Mizrahi said. "I believe we have a year until we have to reassess the situation unless there is an event that causes escalation, for example at the Temple Mount."

The exercise was conducted by the Kfir infantry brigade at the Army's counter-insurgency center in Tzeelim in the Negev desert. Under the scenario, Fatah and other militias had taken over a West Bank city and used it as a launching pad for attacks on Israel. Later, PA forces joined the militias.

"If such developments do occur we will be standing before organized forces with individual cells taking part," Mizrahi said.

The exercise by three Kfir battalions was called the largest CI drill in 2010. Soldiers were directed to advance through alleys and homes of a mock Palestinian urban center assembled at Tzeelim.

"We must prove that we can expand our abilities and allow commanders to conduct missions in any arena," Kfir commander Col. Oren Avman said.

A key issue has been the prospect of insubordination by Israeli soldiers in any operation that included Palestinian civilians. Officials said they do not expect officers or soldiers to be deterred by the threat of prosecution in any international court on charges of war crimes.

"We have had conferences and debates, and we know what we did and how we must act," Mizrahi said.

Officials said the Army has also been examining the capabilities of PA forces trained by the United States. U.S. security coordinator Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton has overseen the training of at least five battalions of the PA National Security Forces and Presidential Guard.

"This is a trained, equipped, American-educated force," Mizrahi said. "This means that at the beginning of a battle, we'll pay a higher price. A force like that can shut down an urban area with four snipers. They have attack capabilities, and we don't expect them to give up so easily."

About Us     l    Contact Us     l     l
Copyright © 2010    East West Services, Inc.    All rights reserved.