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Israeli Security Warn PA State Means War
Israel - Middle East
Thursday, November 22, 2001
Jack Kinsella - Omega Letter Editor

Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said he wants a Palestinian state and that a growing number of Israelis agree with him. Israeli security officials see it differently. In their view, a Palestinian state means war with Israel. They expect Yasser Arafat to ignore any provisions for a demilitarized state and to use sovereignty to attack Israel from the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

How big a threat to Israel is a military Palestinian state? To begin with, Arafat has already formed alliances with Arab states including Egypt and Iraq.

IDF security chiefs say statehood would mean that Arafat's forces as well as Arab troops could launch a war from Ramallah rather than from the Jordan River.

A report released by the Ariel Center for Policy Research said Arafat has nearly 100,000 troops at his disposal. Released by the Ariel Center for Policy Research and entitled, "The Palestinian Security Forces: Capabilities and Effects on the Arab-Israeli Military Balance", the report is authored by Lt. Col. Gal Luft. Luft served as a battalion commander in the 1990s and dealt with the Palestinian Authority.

He says Arafat has a military force of about 46,000 troops. Arafat can also count on the 40,000 gunmen of his Fatah movement. Luft says many of these gunmen serve in Fatah and in PA security agencies. They include the so-called Palestinian police, which he says is actually a military force under the guise of a police agency.

Arafat's forces are well-organized, according to the report. The largest of them is the National Security Forces, which numbers 14,000 combatants and they are expected to protect Arafat's regime. While Arafat is having some problems with his security forces right now, that is only because he appears to be leaning toward peace.

In the event the PA achieves sovereignty and launches a war against Israel, Arafat can count on absolute loyalty.

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