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Dismantling the Terror Infrastructure – The Only Issue

28 July 2003

By Yisrael Ne’eman

Interviewed yesterday on Israel TV Channel One, IDF Chief of Staff Moshe (Bogy) Ya’alon was questioned about the Sharon visit to the White House and Israel’s most pressing security issues.  He answer was blunt and monolithic.  “The Palestinian terror infrastructure must be dismantled,” he intoned.  As far as he was concerned all other questions, issues and the discussions with the Americans were secondary. 

Ya’alon, who has been the center of storm over his expressiveness on many an occasion, especially from the Left, raised no eyebrows this time.  Since the Defensive Shield Operation of March 2002 in the wake of the Passover Massacre in Netanya there is a broad consensus in Israel over the need for the complete eradication of terrorism.

With Palestinian PM Mahmoud Abbas challenging Chairman Yasir Arafat for the reigns of power in the Palestinian Authority many feel Israel may be on the way to a solution.  Abbas was well received by President Bush and made a good impression on everyone.  But the question still remains – Will he and his security minister Mohammed Dahlan uproot terrorism?  Will the Abbas ‘moderate’ faction be willing to risk a Palestinian civil war to crush the Hamas, the Islamic Jihad and the radical elements in their own Fatah (Tanzim, El Aksa Brigades)?

Abbas says he will not risk civil conflict.  Should that be the case terrorism will return after the three month hudna breather and reorganization period.  Ya’alon is correct, all other issues are only peripheral, the heart of the matter at present is the complete annihilation of the terrorist infrastructure.

Only then can compromise and peace making begin.