Thursday, January 30, 2014

Why Israel Doesn't Need Massive Forces in Jordan Valley

[By Ephraim Sneh, Deputy Defense Minister of Israel, on the HuffPost.]

As Secretary of State Kerry prepares a framework agreement for Israelis and Palestinians that will address the question of a military presence on the western bank of the Jordan River, some Israeli leaders have argued vigorously for the Israel Defense Forces to be massively positioned there for decades.
As a former Israeli deputy defense minister and general, I also always believed that the IDF presence along the Jordan River must be a security component in every agreement with the Palestinians. This was predicated on Israel's need to defend itself from the east and guarantee the demilitarization of the West Bank. 

But I have updated my thinking on the way this defense can be implemented. Three developments, two technological and the third political, now enable Israel to protect its security requirements in a way that will not deny the Palestinians' need for sovereignty, which would impede any agreement with them.

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