The former head of Israelâ€™s Shin Bet security service, Yoram Cohen, warned of the annexation of so-called â€śArea C,â€ť in the West Bank, to Israel,Â would lead to â€śan unnecessary bloodbathâ€ť.
â€śSteps should be taken to reduce the occupation in the West Bank, improve transportation, improve work, and transfer areas from Area B to Area A, which is entirely under the control of the Palestinian Authority,â€ť Cohen said.
Area B is under Palestinian civilian control and Israeli security control. Area C, which accounts for 60 percent of the West Bank, is under full Israeli control under the Oslo Accords. Earlier this week, the Israeli cabinet approved a plan to build 6,000 housing units in Israeli settlements in area C and only 700 housing units for Palestinians.
Cohen referred to the armed confrontation, at the security fence in the eastern Gaza Strip, last night, during which Hamas fighter Hani Abu Salah was killed when two officers and two soldiers were moderately wounded. â€śThe state is investing billions in manpower, technology and intelligence to prevent such events. But, in this case, the work was done well. â€ť
He added that launching an Israeli attack against the Gaza Strip, in the wake of such an operation, could lead to another round in which hundreds of rockets were fired at the â€śGaza envelopeâ€ť (the region of Israel surrounding the Gaza Strip). â€śOur deterrence may have been damaged by the fact that we did not want to degenerate into a major battle or a war,â€ť he said, according to the PNN.
Cohen added that, during the Gaza offensive in 2014, â€śWe did not know the places of the tunnels on the Israeli side, and we were not able to correctly estimate the intentions of the other side for the war.â€ť
(Al Ray archive image)
Chris Carlson is a student of religion at Mount Mercy University, United States, and has been a regular volunteer with the IMEMC since 2013. He assisted in providing extensive coverage of the 2014 Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip and continues, into the present day, with the issues at hand. He can be reached via email at c h r i s @ i m e m c . o r g.