vrijdag 22 februari 2008

Multinationale troepenmacht in Gaza Strook biedt geen oplossing

Aaron Lerner is geen optimist.
In onderstaand commentaar schetst de IMRA-directeur de gevaren en risico's van een internationale troepenmacht in Gaza nadat Israël daar is binnengevallen om een einde te maken aan de raketbeschietingen. Ik denk dat veel zal afhangen van het resultaat van die operatie: lukt het Israël Hamas beslissend te verslaan, dan zal Hamas zich niet snel weer kunnen herstellen, en kan de internationale troepenmacht helpen bij een goede machtsoverdracht aan de Palestijnse Autoriteit. Is Hamas niet verslagen, dan zal die troepenmacht inderdaad Israëls vuile werk niet opknappen en kan Hamas - zoals Hezbollah in Zuid-Libanon - zich opnieuw bewapenen en voorbereiden op een volgende ronde. Heeft men genoeg van de internationale troepenmacht dan wordt die middels een paar aanslagen 'aangemoedigd' naar huis te gaan.
De kans dat het Israël zal lukken - en het genoeg tijd zal krijgen - om Hamas beslissend te verslaan is niet groot, dus Lerner zou weleens gelijk kunnen krijgen....

Weekly Commentary: Multinational Force In Gaza Strip Not The Answer

Dr. Aaron Lerner
Date: 21 February, 2008

Would it really serve Israel's interests rely on the deployment of a collection of foreign forces in the Gaza Strip to facilitate an Israeli exit after the conclusion of a major operation there?


Proponents see the mandate of such a multinational group as an anti-Palestinian terror force, but the members of the force wouldn't come from Mars. They would be from nations with their own international (and for that matter domestic) interests and concerns. As such, this force would be careful to avoid the "Israel's Policeman" label.

Deployment of such a force would be predicated on significant, substantial and immediate Israeli concessions that contributing countries could point to in order to justify their participation to the Arab world.

By the same token, the force would take great care to avoid either embarrassing or ostensibly offending the "moderate" Palestinian leadership they are helping to pick up the pieces after the operation.

+ Security and inspection arrangements at passages and the Gaza seaports and airport would sacrifice effectiveness for Palestinian "pride".

+ Operations against terrorists would be effectively restricted in sensitive locations such as schools, hospitals, mosques, etc.

+ Operations against terrorists aligned with the ruling authorities and official Palestinian locations. Historically, many terrorist operations are carried out by forces associated with the ruling Palestinian factions. In fact, many of these gunmen also serve within the Palestinian security forces as their day job while they moonlight as terrorists. Illegal weapons have also been stored in official PA armories (for example the rockets and other equipment that Hamas seized when it took control in Gaza). Multinational force ground commanders would weigh operations against these terrorists against the repercussions, in terms of its impact on relations with both their Palestinian interlocutors and third parties.

+ The political need for encouraging - if not glowing - progress reports would take priority over accurate and realistic assessments of the situation on the ground.

+ Paradoxically, the presence of the force - seeking quick and dirty "progress" - would ultimately lead to the build up of a larger and more dangerously armed Palestinian army in the Gaza Strip than there would be in the absence of a multinational force.

Deploying a multinational force in the Gaza Strip means stripping Israel of the ability to act to protect itself from terror attacks.

At best the operational goals of the commanders on the ground would be to try to prevent the launching of terror attacks during their tour of duty while avoiding casualties (and bad press) to their own forces, an approach that lends itself, at best, to the "hudna" concept that it is acceptable for the terrorists to gain strength as long as they don't use it. Yet.

It might be appealing to suggest that someone else bear Israel's security burden - but it won't work.

It would only put the Jewish State in a situation that it faces an even more dangerous enemy that skillfully exploits the human shields a multi-national force would become.

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(Mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)

IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis

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