Amidror: Ashkelon rocket warnings were ignored

Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amidror claims military warned government of dangers before signing of Oslo in '93.

ashkelon kassam damage 248 88 (photo credit: Courtesy of Ashkelon Municipality [file])
ashkelon kassam damage 248 88
(photo credit: Courtesy of Ashkelon Municipality [file])
A secret Military Intelligence Directorate report dating back to 1993 warned of the dangers of rockets raining down on Ashkelon in the event that the Palestinians fail to uphold their end of the Oslo Peace Treaty, a former army intelligence chief revealed on Monday. Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror, who once headed the IDF's Research and Assessment Division, said during a lecture at the Netanya Academic College that the government had completely ignored the military's warning on the security pitfalls of the peace deal with the PLO. "There were clauses which clearly could not be upheld from a military perspective, like pursuing terrorists in Palestinian Authority territories," Amidror said. He added that Shimon Peres, who was then foreign minister, called for military officers to leave a meeting room when a vote was taken on the peace agreement. The remarks were made as part of a series of talks given at the college, marking 16 years since the Oslo peace treaty. Amidror told The Jerusalem Post, "One week after Oslo, we said the agreement could end in a historic compromise, or with Katyushas being fired on Ashkelon. Katyusha rockets were being fired from Lebanon, and it was clear that they would end up in additional territories." Noting that Israel left Gaza "twice, once in 1994 and again in 2005 during the disengagement," Amidror said, "We have learned that the loss of control of territory and the creation of a border between the PA and an Arab state meant that there will be Katyusha rockets. Today, this is 100 times more true in regards to leaving Judea and Samaria than it was in 1993." Amidror said Israel must maintain control of the Jordan Valley to prevent arms smuggling and terrorist infiltration into the West Bank and warned, "If we leave Judea and Samaria, Hamas will overthrow Fatah again. Fatah is so rotten that no amount of US training of its security personnel will help. The threat will arrive at Tel Aviv's gate." Amidror expressed regret over what he said were "insufficient efforts by the intelligence community to point out how the Palestinians were cheating us and how we turned a blind eye to this. "We didn't ignore the violations as much as the politicians did, but I regret that our efforts to expose the transgressions were not determined enough," he said.