politics, history and the war on terror
Thursday, June 03, 2004
Mending Fences 

"Bad neighbors require good fences." - unknown

In late April, I wrote about the question of Palestinian statehood and the current strategy of Israel to create a separate, unilateral peace with the Palestinians. The two main elements of this plan are to decapitate the Islamic terror groups' leadership, and create a security fence between Israelis and Palestinians:

As the PA has demonstrated it is uninterested in finding a peaceful solution with Israel (unwilling to compromise on the right of return and borders of a new Palestinian State, sponsoring the Intifada & supporting terror organizations), Israel has embarked on a project to unilaterally create its own conditions for peace. Israel has decided to build a security fence (wall) between Israel and the Palestinian territories, with the lines drawn of their own choosing, started to withdraw from Gaza and the West Bank (while leaving several settlements in the West Bank) and targeted Hamas leadership in the Palestinian territories. These are measures which President Bush has recently decided to support, a radical change in U.S. policy. The effects of this strategy are as follows:

- Removes PA from bargaining process
- Creates chaos in terror organizations by removing leadership
- Shows Palestinians they will get less than they want without negotiating

Today's post will focus on how the security fence is helping to further the Israeli security plan (an excellent "operational concept" of how the fence works can be viewed here).

Wednesday, Charles of little green footballs, a blog which exposes the threat of radical Islam, links to an article titled Death of the Intifada. This article provides details on how the Israeli plan is working in the Palestinian city of Tulkarem:

There's nobody left of the serious hard core of the Brigades, they say, only the remnants of Jarira's junior lieutenants such as Aweideh inside the city and "a few thieves" in the two local refugee camps. The mounting tensions between the city and camp militants have turned them more into rivals than brothers-in-arms.
"Residents of Tul Karm are no longer willing to provide refuge for the armed men in their houses, local sources say, for fear of ending up on the army's demolition list. Furthermore Aweideh, his fingers nervously drumming on the back of his chair, an eye fixed on the door, reveals that it is not only the Israeli actions that are curbing the militants. "The Palestinian Authority used to support us, but we've had no funding from them for the past two months," he claims. "They make promises, but nothing ever materializes. The PA wants to calm the situation, but Sharon doesn't," he concludes."
Aweideh attributes the difficulty in launching attacks to the recently constructed security barrier that now seals Tul Karm off from Israel, as well as the strict checkpoint regime that controls movement between the city and the rest of the West Bank and "the pressure put on us by the PA." He says that the people he deals with in Ramallah "are scared for Arafat" following Prime Minister Sharon's veiled threats on the Palestinian leader's life.

Further evidence of Israel's plan to halt terror attacks using the security fence exists. The Jewish Virtual Library provides a listing of the Major Palestinian Terror Attacks Since Oslo. This year, there were three major attacks against Israelis, with the last major attack inside Israel in March, at the Ashdod seaport facility. There were five major attacks in 2003, forty-five in 2002, forty in 2001, and five in 2000 (the year the Intifada began).

The Jewish Virtual Library also provides a complete listing of all terror attacks against Israelis, and here are the numbers (editor's note, I had to manually count this list, the numbers may be off by a few. If anyone finds a summary list please let me know):

Year / Casualties
2000 / 25 (Start of Intifada, September 2000)
2001 / 94
2002 / 130
2003 / 63
2004 / 15

The Israeli Ministry of Defence documents the effectiveness of security fence by citing two specific examples of how the fence prevents terror attacks and lead to the arrest of the perpetrators:

In the first case, two terrorists, members of the Islamic Jihad, came from Zbubeh but were unable to cross into Israel directly and had to make a detour of 45 km to try and infiltrate in the Beit Shean area where there is no fence, in order to carry out a suicide bombing at the ORT high school in Yokne'am. This long march provided the IDF and the Security forces who were chasing them, time to trace them hiding in a mosque in Bardaleh and capture them thus preventing the terror attack.

The other suicide bombing was planned to take place in Rosh Ha'ayin. Two of the three members belonging to the Fatah Tanzim infrastructure in Nablus left Nablus in one car and the third member, a 40 year old mother of seven children left in a separate vehicle carrying the explosive belt with her. Their meeting point was Kfar Kasim, a spot chosen because there is no security fence in that area yet. The explosive belt was transferred and the woman returned back to Nablus undetected. The large presence of Israeli security forces in the area of Rosh Ha'ayin prevented the two terrorists from reaching their destination and they tried to get back but, later on they were caught heading towards Habla. The woman was arrested in Nablus.

In both cases, terror attacks were prevented due to the combination of specific intelligence and deterrence provided by the Security Fence and the security forces.

The Israeli Ministry of Defence also provides a graph (copied below) that highlights the effectiveness of the fence against suicide bombings by showing the number of successful attacks decreases while the number of intercepted attacks increases once the fence began construction:

The evidence demonstrates the security fence is performing well in protecting Israeli citizens against Palestinian terrorist attacks. In absence of a serious attempt by the Palestinians to reform their government, arrest known terrorists, work to prevent future terrorist attacks, stop the state sponsorship of terror, negotiate with the Israelis in good faith and recognize the right of Israel's existence, Israel is justified in pursuing the security of its citizens and the unilateral disengagement from Palestinian society. For all of the international outcry over the fence, it is doing exactly what is was designed to do: save lives.


I would like to take a moment to acknowledge Charles of little green footballs. After reading his blog for many months, I came to the conclusion that Charles was promoting hatred and intolerance of Muslims, and stopped viewing his site. Last week, after reading an explanation of Charles' site at Eject! Eject! Eject! (beneath the photos of the WTC attacks on the May 22, 2004 post) I decided to take a second look at little green footballs, and sure enough, Charles is not promoting hatred of Muslims as I had assumed. While some commentors at little green footballs may be too extreme for my liking, the purpose is clear: to shine a light on the insanity and violence of radical Islam. I apologize to Charles for wrongly judging him.

Posted by bill roggio @ 12:07 AM