|Israel Resource Review
||12th July, 2005
Under Which the IDF Can Fire on Settlers and
Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondent
A team headed by an Israel Defense Forces major general recently put together a document that can be defined as the army's "code of ethics" for the disengagement.
Among other things, the team recommends that security forces be allowed to open fire on evacuation opponents who endanger the lives of the soldiers and police only when "all else has failed."
The document also deals with the handling of refusals to obey orders and justification for the IDF's participation in the pullout operation.
The document was compiled by a team headed by Major General Eyal Ben-Reuven, the commander of the military colleges. It included Prof. Asher Kasher of Tel Aviv University and Major General (res.) Haim Erez, among others. Some 10 years ago, Kasher put together a code of ethics for the IDF.
Some two years ago, Haaretz published the main points of an article written by Kasher and the former commander of the military colleges, Major General Amos Yadlin (soon to be named head of Military Intelligence), focusing on "the moral fight against terror." The article presented ethical considerations in favor of the policy of assassinations on terror activists.
Kasher told Haaretz Monday that the new document is aimed at giving senior commanders "tools for providing clear and convincing responses" to questions asked of them by their subordinates on the pullout plan. According to Kasher, the standard explanations that commanders give to their soldiers refer to combat against terror or a hostile army, whereas the IDF's role vis-a-vis the disengagement is more complex and thus requires a different approach.
The document was presented recently to Chief of Staff Dan Halutz, as well as division commanders and senior officers whose units will be playing a part in the pullout.
The following are some of the main issues covered in the document:
Justification for IDF activity in the framework of the
disengagement: The authors of the document determine that
"commanders and soldiers do not have to identify with government
decisions that reflect its policy. . . . The army's preparations
ahead of the implementation of the disengagement plan are being
carried out based on the assumption that the government decision
is legitimate. . . . Reason dictates that the military advocate
general or attorney general would have prevented these
preparations were they to believe that the decision is
illegitimate. . . . Military tasks in the framework of the
disengagement will be carried out in keeping with IDF values."
The tasks, the document says, "will not be tasks in the face of an enemy, or for the purpose of saving lives in face of immediate danger."
Implementation of the disengagement plan, it continues, "must be
done without bloodshed. The soldiers and police will return
safely to their bases. Civilians who refuse to evacuate as
required will be evacuated safely."
The use of force in the event of life-threatening situations:
The document stipulates that soldiers whose lives are endangered
by pullout opponents must respond in the same manner in which
police respond when under similar threat from criminals. The
rules of engagement, the document says, "will not be those of a
soldier in war against an enemy."
According to the document, a policeman opens fire on a criminal "only when he has no alternative, when all else has failed, when it is impossible to defend himself in any other way."
The soldiers, the document states, will act in a "cautious, moderate and patient" manner; they will not storm individuals holed up with weapons, but will "operate in a restrained and responsible manner."
Decisions under such circumstances will be made by senior commanders, the document says.
Should the IDF be participating in the evacuation? The authors of the document reply in the affirmative, noting that the IDF has been the sovereign power in the territories since they were occupied by Israel in 1967, and therefore every military operation carried out in the territories is the army's responsibility.
The authors of the document add, nevertheless, that the Israel Police is the appropriate entity for dealing with citizens of the state and specializes in effectively handling civilians who break the law. If the police are unable to evacuate all the residents of a settlement on their own, the IDF must help, the document says.
The IDF assistance will be given with "the precise and restrained use of force," the authors write.
Army and politics: The IDF is not party to any political dispute; it is a state organization under the authority of the government, the document notes. A commander may not voice or allude to solidarity with any particular political position.
Problems of conscience among soldiers: The authors of the document recommend that when a soldier requests an exemption, in part or in full, from disengagement missions, his commander must demand a detailed reason for the request. Soldiers should not be exempted based on their personal opposition to the pullout, the document stipulates, adding that a soldier has a civilian right to formulate an opinion against the pullout, but as a soldier he is bound to carry out the tasks imposed upon him.
As expected, the authors of the document adamantly reject any
refusal to obey orders in the framework of the IDF's
participation in the pullout. The refusenik, the document says,
is not worthy of serving in a military unit in which mutual
trust is a central factor in the ability to fight. A refusenik
cannot be trusted and any declaration of refusal requires an
immediate response from a soldier's superiors, the document notes.
This piece ran in HaAretz on July 12th, 2005
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PA Textbooks not Anti-Semitic
Sheera Claire Frenkel
Although a new report states that Palestinian Authority textbooks now
feature descriptions of "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" as being an
"integral part" of Zionist history that was approved in "a confidential
resolution of the First Zionist Congress," the Belgian government says it is
continuing to fund production of the textbooks and does not consider them
"We do not find [the textbooks] anti-Semitic in any way," said a spokesman
from the Belgian government press office, speaking to The Jerusalem Post by
telephone. "We have a screening process that goes through and reads the
books. There has been some controversy about it in the past, but we have had
people look into it."
However, other countries may be having second thoughts. While Finland, Italy
and the Netherlands have also provided aid for PA textbooks in the past,
this year's books only credit Belgium and "Arab nations" as providing aid.
Widely regarded as a cornerstone of anti-Semitic theory, the fabricated
Protocols purport to disclose the secret plans of a Jewish conspiracy for
The description of the Protocols is one of many anti-Zionist and
anti-Semitic statements made in PA textbooks, according to a report issued
by the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace (CMIP) on Monday, a
The 122-page report notes that Israel is omitted from all maps of the Middle
East, and that Palestinian martyrs are portrayed as "heroic" strugglers
against the "occupying force."
"Unfortunately, the whole Palestinian Authority operation of publishing new
books for schools has fallen short of the standards set by the international
community," said Arnon Groiss, who wrote the report. "Until massive changes
are made, I don't think that the Palestinian Authority's textbooks
contribute to peace. The opposite is being done."
The PA Ministry of Education could not be reached for comment and did not
return phone calls.
However, a document on the ministry's Web site says that the issue of
incitement in PA textbooks is "a myth."
Claiming that CMIP has engaged in an "orchestrated crusade against
Palestinian education," the ministry's document also denies that PA books
incite hatred against Jews and says that it is, in fact, Israeli textbooks
that incite hatred against the Palestinians.
"Those who are critical of what Palestinian children are learning should try
to find out how Israeli children are taught to hate Arabs, and trained to
kill them," the document says.
Prior to 1967 Jordanian textbooks were used for schools in the West Bank and
Egyptian textbooks were used in the Gaza Strip.
"When we took over funding of the textbooks, we did so because we wanted to
replace the totally outdated textbooks that had been used up to that point,"
said the Belgian spokesman. "We wanted them to stress social values, human
rights and democracy."
In "A Study of the Impact of the Palestinian Curriculum," commissioned by
the Belgian Technical Cooperation at the end of 2004, researchers concluded
that in "light of the debate stirred by accusations of incitement to hatred
and other criticisms of the Palestinian textbooks, there is no evidence at
all of that happening as a result of the curriculum."
The report added that violence from "soldiers and settlers shooting in the
streets and in schools" and "occupation" were preventing Palestinian
children from realizing democratic values.
Members of CMIP claim that the other countries withdrew their funding of the
books because of their content, but officials in those countries could not
be reached for comment.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which
provides millions of dollars to Palestinian schools and universities each
year, said that the international community could not be expected to "turn
its backs" on the PA education system.
"There are problems in any education system," said Sylvana Foa, head of
USAID's public diplomacy office in the West Bank and Gaza. "But there is a
conscious effort being made to improve the Palestinian system."
The European Union also helped fund the PA textbooks until 2001, when a
group of pro-Israeli members of the European Parliament attached a rider to
an EU budget line saying the organization's money must not be provided for
PA textbooks if they contain material that is anti-Semitic or incites
"Israel supports the international effort to aid the Palestinians," said a
Foreign Ministry official. "When such support is given by the international
community, we hope that that aid is done in a way that encourages positive
political development in the Palestinian territories."
He added that the government encouraged all international groups to make
certain that they were not supporting an education process that was
anti-democratic or "encouraging xenophobic, nationalist or any racist
This piece ran in the Jerusalem Post
on July 12, 2005
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Reports That The Hamas Has Postioned Their Rockets in Judea and
Special Report From The Intelligence and
Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies
June 28, 2005
An article published on the Hamas website reflects the
movement's efforts to extend its Qassam rocket manufacturing
capabilities to the West Bank. The writer of the article
predicts that the Qassam rockets will create a balance of terror
with Israel and serve as the weapon of deterrence in the next
phase of the confrontation, providing an adequate response to
the Israeli security fence.
"The Qassam rockets in the occupied West Bank -the weapon of
deterrence in the next phase." (the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades website).
The current lull in the fighting in the Palestinian Authority administered territories is used by the Palestinian terrorist organizations, with Hamas standing at the forefront, to restore and reinforce their operative infrastructures in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip. As part of their efforts to upgrade the arms and ammunition in their possession, the various organizations attempt to extend their capabilities to manufacture and launch Qassam rockets to the West Bank. Such capabilities, in their view, will create a "balance of terror" between the terrorist organizations and Israel (similarly to the model established by Hezbollah in Lebanon ), and provide an adequate response to the security fence built by Israel.
An expression of this concept can be found in an article titled "Will the Palestinian Weapon of Deterrence Develop in the West Bank", recently published on Hamas's Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades
website1. The article reviews the advantages of threatening Israel's main cities with rockets: "The entire distance between Qalqilya and occupied 'Tel-Aviv' is no greater than 7 km… The distance between Netanya and Tulkarm is no greater than 4 km. Ramallah and Bethlehem are adjacent to Jerusalem …" The writer of the article predicts that "the Qassam rocket will serve as the key weapon of deterrence in the next phase of the confrontation as the acts of suicide martyrdom served as the weapon of choice during all the previous
This concept has been expressed in practice in the efforts of Hamas during the lull in the fighting to extend the Qassam rocket manufacturing capabilities to the West Bank. Proof of to that was found when Israeli security forces uncovered operative Hamas infrastructures in the northern West Bank that were engaged producting of Qassam rockets. Among other things, a laboratory for manufacturing explosives that contained an improvised Qassam shell casing was exposed in the village of Al-Yamoun (west of Jenin) (see Appendix for details).
1 www.alqassam.ws, June 28, 2005.
The translation of the article
Will the Palestinian weapon of deterrence be developed in the West Bank?
There are many indications that the Qassam rockets will find their way from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank and that it is only a matter of time. A great deal of evidence indicates that such a change in the West Bank will become a reality [now,] with [the manufacturing and launching of Qassam rockets] in the Gaza Strip entering its fourth year.
Jenin and Nablus
In the last two years, intensive attempts have been carried out in the regions of Jenin and Nablus, mostly by the Al-Qassam Brigades, to make this trend a reality in the northern West Bank, a perpetually "hot" [region], so that it [the Qassam] become the weapon of deterrence in the next phase.
A humble beginning
Even though the beginnings are still humble, they are highly promising. During the past years, the West Bank has been severely hit and, as a result, the infrastructure of the resistance factions has been severely damaged. Nevertheless, this does not diminish the aspirations of the resistance to achieve a balance of terror in the equation [formed] after [the construction of] the fence.
Recently, mortar shells were fired in the Jenin region at the settlement of Ganim, east of Jenin. Short as the range of these mortar bombs may be, in practice, the very ability to launch them, in light of the recurring incursions in the region that make it almost impossible to breathe, is a strong indication of iron will and non-compromising determination.
In the last month of December, the Zionist intelligence apparatus was dumbfounded to discover a workshop for manufacturing Qassam rockets of the Hamas movement in the town of Yamoun, west of Jenin. In the workshop, located in a smithy inside an underground cave, ready-to-launch rockets were manufactured. In view of this, a campaign of arrests was conducted against 15 of the movement's activists in Silat al-Hartiya and Yamoun 3.
Several months ago, a cell of the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the PFLP military wing in Nablus,
was sentenced to four years in prison by a Zionist court on charges of manufacturing rockets in Nablus.
The cell succeeded in launching an experimental rocket to a modest range of only 100 m; however, the implications
of these attempts remain enormous.
The first attempt to launch Qassam rockets in the West Bank began in late 2001. In the year 2002, a first Qassam rocket was launched at the settlement [sic] of Netanya. As a result, a power transformer was struck, resulting in a several-hour-long power loss in [the city of] Netanya. Several additional attempts were carried out in Nablus, Tulkarm and Jenin.
What it important, however, is how the situation will unfold should the Zionist army partially withdraw from the cities of the West Bank, after the [construction of the] fence is completed and the resistance [factions] have an infrastructure for the manufacturing of these rockets. In this case, Afula, Hadera, Beit She'an, Netanya, Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem, and other cities will all fall within the range of the Qassam 1 rocket, and there will not even be need for the Qassam 2 rocket. The implication is that this rocket, which was previously looked upon with disdain by many, will serve as the weapon of choice in the coming period of time, as the acts of suicide martyrdom served as the weapon of choice during all the previous years.
Characteristics of the Qassam rocket
There are those who might underestimate the importance of the Qassam rocket. Doing so would be incorrect, for the following reasons:
The difficulty to destroy these rockets' sources of manufacturing. All the bombings of the workshops carried out by the Zionist army failed. The manufacturing of Qassam rockets has not stopped; quite the opposite, it has been upgraded.
From a technical standpoint, the Zionist army presently does not have any means to intercept an airborne Qassam rocket. The only possibility, therefore, of stopping the fire, if possible, is to strike the operating cells or the rockets them selves, a moment before they are launched.
A preemptive strike against the attacking cell is a complicated and almost impossible affair. According to the assessments of the Zionist army, the members of the resistance bring the missiles in vans and unload them under the cover of agricultural activity. This makes them more difficult to expose. Furthermore, the timeframe available to the Zionist forces is a quarter of an hour at the most. It takes that long for the resistance members to aim the rockets and activate them at a distance using an electronic timer. To foil the action, the army needs to keep combat helicopters in the air for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is, therefore, highly bothersome.
The idea of establishing a security zone in the West Bank is not considered to be an effective one. There are inhabited areas all along the separation line, located close to each other and separated only by the security fence. In addition, there is no territorial depth that can serve as a [safety] zone. The entire distance between Qalqilya and occupied "Tel-Aviv" is no greater than 7 km. The distance between Netanya and Tulkarm is no greater than 4 km. Ramallah and Bethlehem are adjacent to Jerusalem The settlements are everywhere.
Therefore, the Zionist army does not have a magic solution [for Qassam rocket fire]except for one: perpetrating acts of mass murder.
The Zionists are troubled by the development of the Qassam rocket in the West Bank In spite of intensive arrests designed to prevent the formation of a permanent infrastructure of the resistance [factions], there are no serious security solutions. Therefore, the only solution, as far as the Zionist establishment is concerned, is severe retaliation for every Qassam rocket launched, in order to teach the Palestinians a lesson and make them think a thousand times before launching any kind of rocket.
If a rocket falls on Netanya or Afula, the Zionist air force can carry out an unplanned retaliation resulting in mass murder of civilians in their towns. This will force [in the Israelis' view] the resistance [factions] not to launch rockets, out of fear for the loss of Palestinian lives.
That is the prevailing idea in the Zionist establishment; the
question, however, remains: have all the previous mass murders
and the acts of hostility carried out as collective punishment
quenched the fire of resistance, or, rather, have they served as
a catalyst for the increasing sophistication of the creative
methods of the resistance [factions]? 3 This is a reference to a
series of arrests of members of a terrorist infrastructure in
the village of Silat al-Hartiya (north of Jenin) and in the
village of Al-Yamoun (adjacent to Jenin) who were engaged in the
manufacturing of Qassam rockets and building a laboratory for
arms production (January 25, 2005). See Appendix for details.
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