Aaron Lerner Date:
16 May 2004
The Supreme Court
ruled this morning to permit the IDF to widen the Philadelphi Corridor.
The Philadelphi Corridor separates between Egypt and the Gaza Strip. As
Chief of Staff Moshe (Bugi) Yaalon told the cabinet today, Egypt is not
acting to stop the flow of weapons from Egypt to the Gaza Strip - weapons
that frequently are used to attack Israel within the Green Line. Thus
Israel finds itself with no choice but to act to stop the smuggling itself.
The buildings adjacent
to the patrol road of the Philadelphi Corridor are currently close enough
that patrols and monitoring posts on the Corridor are within range of
a broad array of weapons now commonly held by the Palestinians.
Widening the corridor
will put Palestinian forces out of range if they want to attack while
1. The monitoring
posts, that will be beyond the range of the bulk (if not
all) of Palestinian fire can be expected to also be more effective as
the soldiers in the observation posts will not be distracted by constant
incoming fire trying to kill them.
2. The buildings that are to be removed also made it possible for Palestinians
to place bombs on the patrol road without detection as the buildings were
so close to the road - removal of these buildings makes it considerably
more difficult for Palestinian explosives teams to position bombs on the
road as they will have to traverse an open area that is being monitored.
3. Putting the patrol
road belong firing range also means that operations on the road to detect
and destroy smuggling tunnels will be able to focus on doing their job
without the constant distraction - as well as hindrance - caused by ongoing
Palestinian efforts to kill them.
4. In addition to
making the patrol road more effective and saving Israeli and Palestinian
lives (since Palestinian civilians will no longer be serving as human
shields for Palestinian attackers in the area adjacent to the patrol road)
a significant widening of the Corridor will make tunnel construction considerably
more costly and easier to detect; More costly because of the longer distances
that have to be traversed. Easier to detect because the equipment required
for the construction of the longer tunnels will be more sophisticated
and its presence will be more readily detectable.
Of course, if Egypt
should ever decide that it wants to stop the smuggling (its treaty with
Israel places no limit on the size of the armed police force that can
operate on the border) they will have an even easier time stopping the
operation because of the equipment and other demands created by the extension
of the distance required before smuggling tunnels from Egypt can surface
under the cover of Palestinian buildings in the Gaza Strip.
None of this would
be necessary if Egypt had honored its treaty obligations to Israel to
stop the flow of weapons across its border. But, unfortunately, while
Jordan has even at times sent people to jail for trying to send weapons
from Jordan to the Palestinians, the Egyptians decline to act.
The debate over the
buildings serves to expose the false moral stand of many retreat supporters
who claim that they support retreat to save Israeli lives.
The moment that these
same retreat supporters take the position that Palestinian bricks are
more important than Israeli blood they have essentially forfeited their
claim that they are driven by a desire to save Israeli lives.
Dr. Aaron Lerner,
Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis