Jerusalem Report

A security plan for the Jordan Valley

I propose a phased agreement for the Jordan Valley – subject to the Palestinian side.

jordan valley
Photo by: Wikimedia Commons
ONE OF the thorniest problems in the way of a permanent Israeli- Palestinian peace deal is the question of an Israeli military presence in the West Bank portion of the Jordan Valley. At the heart of what is a highly complex affair, there are two key issues: The nature of the military threats Israel faces to the east, and whether adequate security arrangements can be found to meet them without impinging on Palestinian sovereignty.

The threat Israel faced up to the early 1990s, which justified IDF deployment on the eastern slopes of the Samarian hills was the specter of several divisions of infantry and armor with air support sweeping towards Israel’s eastern border in a major ground offensive launched by a coalition of Arab states. This was seen as an existential threat because of the huge disparity in the size of the armies coupled with Israel’s relative lack of strategic depth. The military thinking then was that an IDF force deployed on the Samarian hills could block the Arab advance and afford greater strategic depth.

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