debkafile reports: Shin Bet Chief Yuval Diskin issues stern wake-up call for Israeli government to get its military act together in Gaza before it
Gaza’s traffic lights have moved from amber to red, red, red, he said in his briefing to the Knesset foreign affairs and security committee Tuesday, Nov. 14. The buildup of terrorist strength in the Gaza Strip is now a strategic menace which threatens to make the territory a second Lebanon unless it is dealt with promptly. Diskin reported that the Philadelphi route along the Egyptian border is wide open for smuggling – 30 tons of explosives and weapons have slipped through to the Strip in recent months. Egyptian control is ineffectual and the European monitoring mechanism problematical. Palestinian terrorists regard Nasrallah as a national hero. They treat his anti-tank weapons, guerrilla tactics and fortified underground bunkers as models for emulation, said the spy agency chief, confirming repeated debkafile reports.
There are only two ways to arrest the slide in the Gaza Strip, according to Diskin. Either build up Fatah so that it can stand up to Hamas, or send the IDF into action.
debkafile‘s military sources stress that the first option, which prime minister Ehud Olmert and defense minister Amir Peretz have embraced, is of no practical use either in Gaza or the West Bank – although they have offered to let Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah have thousands of guns and ammo.
This is because Fatah is in an advanced state of disintegration whereas Hamas has enhanced its strength to the point of no return. In Diskin’s view, which is supported by most IDF generals, the Israeli military option is the only feasible one.
But Olmert, Peretz and foreign minister Tzipi Livni are standing in the way of this course because of their misreading of the situation, exactly in the way they failed to grasp the Lebanese reality before, during and after the war.
Syrian-Iranian arms supplies roll into Lebanon unhindered, Hizballah is restoring its fortifications and missile deployment in South Lebanon, yet Livni says in Los Angeles that UN resolution 1701 calling for an arms embargo and action to prevent Hizballah rearming and regrouping in south Lebanon was a good move – if it can be implemented, she added. That it cannot be implemented is obvious except to those who choose to hold the measure up as a great Israel achievement and war gain.
On the Gaza front, another government spokesman commented this week that Egyptian control of the Gaza border was improving, a myth which Diskin easily exploded Tuesday.
The aura of unreality hanging over Israel’s policy-makers was remarked on in the United States during the visit paid by seven ministers this week. Olmert was the first to attract notice. On arriving at the White House Tuesday, he told President George W. Bush warmly that the American operation in Iraq had brought” stability to the Middle East” – a comment which jarred badly with the general perception of the American voter and everyone else, including the entire Middle East.
Asked by reporters for an opinion on an early American withdrawal from Iraq, he said in effect: What withdrawal (sic)!
And foreign minister Livni told a bemused audience in Los Angeles: “…
If the promise of `Never Again` supersedes the price of oil then the time for international indifference and hesitation in the face of the Iranian threat has long passed.”
Maybe she was posing a riddle to stump Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.