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IDF commander says Gaza 'expulsion' was not just military -warns of rockets hitting Askelon - is rewarded with DC posting

October 27, 2005

IDF Commander: Terrorists Will Strike Ashkelon
22:00 Oct 27, 2005
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

MIM: For his complicity in the Gaza 'expulsions' Dan Harel has been awarded a plum posting as IDF attache' in Washington. On the eve of his departure from Israel, Harel, who was instrumental in undermining Israel's security in facilitating the Gaza withdrawal, now has no problem 'predicting' that terrorists will strike at the port city of Ashkelon, and even designated the electrical power plant as a target.

The now outgoing head of Southern command 'flatly' declares that a terror is a given, and that " a balance of terror" is now the only way to guarantee Israel's security . Harel remarks completely reveal the Sharon government's cynical manipulation of security concerns as a reason for the 'expulsions' from Gaza, and his own mercenary attitude, when he tells an interviewer that he "assumes" that' security considerations' were behind the decision to deport Jews from Gaza'. (!)

Outgoing head of the Southern Command said, "Kassam rockets will reach Ashkelon, which is already in range." Dan Harel also admitted the IDF involvement in the expulsion was not purely military.

Lt. General Harel expressed fears that Egypt will not keep terrorists from attacking Israel. He added that Israel will have to live with terror on the south as it does in the north and depend on a "balance of terror" to maintain quiet.

Speaking in an interview with the Ynet Hebrew web site, Harel said flatly that Ashkelon eventually will be a target of terrorists. A huge electric power plant is located south of the city, about eight kilometers (five miles) from terrorist bases in northern Gaza

Concerning the expulsion, the outgoing commander admitted that the IDF acted in matters "that were not purely military." He added, "I am not sure the disengagement stemmed from security considerations, although I assume they were part of the considerations that brought the move."

Harel, who has been appointed IDF attache in Washington, said that it is too soon to judge the expulsion. "The question of whether the disengagement succeeded or not hinges on the objectives whoever thought up the idea hoped to achieve."

His principal concern is the 250-kilometer (155 mile) border between Egypt and Israel, which he called a "weak spot."

"Criminal activity is taking place along it and must be curbed. The danger is that the criminal platform can also be used to send terrorists to Israel. There were already some attempts that we stopped. I hope we can keep this balance, but doubt it, and I expect the Egyptians to do much more," Lt. General Harel told Ynet.

Concerning the chaos along the Rafiah border with Egypt following the IDF withdrawal, the IDF commander said "there was a big mess" in which terrorists and ammunition entered Gaza. "As far as we know, no weapons that change the balance of power were transferred. I'm not ruling out the possibility that it can happen."


Mounting Opposition to Reward Pro-Expulsion MKs
Oct 30, 2005
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

Labor MK Amram Mitzna joined Likud 'loyalists' Saturday in announcing that he will vote against Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's demand to appoint as ministers two MKs who backed the expulsion.

Mitzna said he supports confirming the appointment of MK Ehud Olmert (Likud) as Finance Minister but insisted, "There is no justification to increase the [size of the] Cabinet because of political considerations." Vice Premier Shimon Peres also said he would vote against the appointments, and Israel government Radio reported that the Prime Minister Ariel Sharon Sharon does not have a majority on the issue.

He wants to appoint Roni Bar-On and Deputy Minister Ze'ev Boim as ministers. Both of them voted for the expulsion of Jewish residents from their homes in the Gaza and northern Samaria regions and for turning over the areas to the Palestinian Authority (PA) after Jewish homes and community buildings were destroyed and synagogues were abandoned.

The Prime Minister also wants to promote Labor MK Matan Vilnai to a ministerial position.

MK Binyamin (Bibi) Netanyahu, who served as Finance Minister until his resignation shortly before the start of the expulsions, charged, "This is a typical example of the buying of votes and the continuation of the corrupting of politics in Israel."

Netanyahu said he will boycott Sunday's meeting of Likud Knesset members with Prime Minister Sharon, who said Thursday that his opponents should "grow up." He accused Netanyahu of trying to break up the Likud party and said opponents of the expulsion should stop trying to use it as a tool against the coalition.

Netanyahu and anti-expulsion leader Uzi Landau narrowly lost a bid last month to move up the Likud primaries from March to November. Both of them are contenders to replace Sharon as party leader.

Several Likud MKs, including Landau and others who call themselves loyalists for adhering to the Likud platform against dismantling Jewish communities, have said they will vote against the appointments.

The Prime Minister said he will try to have the Knesset vote on all three appointments as a package, a tactic which would make it more difficult for opponents to win the vote. Likud loyalists have said they do not oppose the appointment of Olmert, who has been temporary Finance Minister since Netanyahu resigned.

The government faced additional pressure Saturday night after Communications Minister Dalia Itzik (Labor) demanded that her camp assume Olmert's former position as Minister for Industry and Trade, which includes responsibility for the Israel Broadcasting Authority.

"The Knesset session apparently will be stormy and we have a feeling we are not participants," charged Itzik.


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