(photo credit: [file])
In his speech at the Herzliya conference on Monday, former chief of staff, Lt.-Gen. (ret.) Moshe Ya'alon stressed the importance for Israel of holding out for secure borders in any final status agreement with the Palestinians.
"The Palestinians do not recognize Israel's right to exist even within pre-1967 borders. The Palestinian Authority has violated every agreement and their decision to start the intifada of September 2000 was made to shirk their responsibility to recognize Israel as a sovereign nation in its own right. This set Israel on the dangerous road of unilaterally declaring its borders," he said.
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He stated that so long as there was no recognition of Israel's right to exist, Israelis would continue to live in fear of their borders being bombarded by its enemies. Ya'alon stressed the need for a deterrent while a partner for peace did not exist and criticized the decision to disengage from Gaza
and the northern West Bank for damaging that much needed capability.
"The unilateral disengagement has damaged Israel's ability to deter rocket attacks." He claimed that Palestinians have interpreted this step as surrendering to their terrorist activities.
He also discussed the fact that Security Council resolution 242 was based on the premise that Israel's pre-1967 borders were insecure and vulnerable.
"From the dawn of Zionism
until this day, the source of all terrorist attacks has been the refusal of the Arab world to recognize Israel's existence. Until this changes we will remain the target of violent terrorist activity. The '67 borders are neither a solution to rocket attacks, suicide bombs nor to more conventional forms of warfare."