A Plan to Improve Israel’s Security Situation and International Standing
Principles of the Plan
- An independent Israeli security and political initiative.
- Continued IDF control over the West Bank until a final status agreement is reached.
- Steps taken independently and not contingent upon the existence of a partner.
- Separation from the Palestinians: Israelis and Palestinians living beside each other, not “inside” each other (in the case of 98.5% of Israelis).
- Elimination of ambiguity by clarifying Israel’s position on resolving the conflict with the Palestinians (two states) and the temporary nature of the military occupation of the West Bank, from a position of strength.
- An effective response to threats on multiple levels – military, political and civil-economic measures – on the West Bank, in Jerusalem and Gaza.
Goals of the Plan
- To enhance the personal security of Israel’s citizens.
- To preserve conditions for a future final status agreement with the Palestinians.
- To Increase prospects of Israel’s integration into security-political arrangements with states in the region.
- To Improve Israel’s international standing.
An Integrated, independent Israeli initiative
- An Israeli security-political initiative that is not contingent upon the existence of a Palestinian partner.
- Security measures combined with political declarations and civil-economic steps.
- Coordinated implementation on the West Bank, in Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.
- Completing construction of the security fence on the West Bank and implementation of a strict border control regime along its entire length.
- Continued IDF military control over the entire West Bank until a final status agreement is reached.
- Reduced friction between Israelis and Palestinians on the West Bank.
- Ending the phenomenon of illegal residency and preventing infiltration into Israel.
- Restoring order in the Palestinian neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, confiscating illegal weapons and eradicating nests of terror.
A comprehensive Israeli policy declaration:
- That it accepts, in principle, the Arab peace initiative, with requisite adjustments to accommodate Israel’s security and demographic needs, as a basis for negotiation.
- Of its commitment to resolving the conflict through negotiations towards a final status agreement based on the principle of “two states for two peoples.”
- That it harbors no claims to sovereignty over West Bank territories east of the security fence, but that it will continue to exercise control over them in a custodial capacity until alternative security arrangement are put into place within the framework of a final status agreement with the Palestinians.
- Of its willingness to recognize that the Palestinian neighborhoods and villages of East Jerusalem will be part of a Palestinian state, when established as part of a future agreement.
- That it will freeze the construction of new settlements, the expansion of existing ones or the development of civilian infrastructures east of the security fence.
- Reiterating its commitment to the strict maintenance of the status quo on the Temple Mount and other holy sites.
- The West Bank: Improving the welfare of the Palestinians and strengthening the Palestinian Authority.
- Jerusalem: Establishing an umbrella authority for the Palestinian villages and neighborhoods, charged with the task of rehabilitation and development. Strict maintenance of the status quo on the Temple Mount.
- Gaza: Preventing the collapse of the cease fire, staving off a humanitarian crisis and promoting economic reconstruction.
- Israeli settlers: Passing an Absorption, Compensation and Voluntary Evacuation Law for West Bank settlers east of the security fence who seek to relocate west of the fence or within the Green Line.
Immediate adoption by the government of this plan – in its entirety — will help restore calm and provide Israel with benefits in the local, regional and international arenas.
Rolling in against the background of a frozen peace process, recurrent waves of Palestinian terror have exposed Israel’s failure to guarantee the welfare and security of its citizens, both within the Green Line and on the West Bank. The security of Israel’s citizenry is a key element in its overall national defense. Israel must immediately launch an integrated military-political-civil initiative to guarantee it.
This plan, put forward by Commanders for Israel’s Security, offers a roadmap to extricate Israel from the current impasse, relax tensions and improve the security and political situation of the State of Israel. Members of the movement, veterans of the IDF, the Israel Security Agency (Shabak), the Mossad and the Police, united in their concern for Israel and its people, bringing to bear their military expertise in a variety of fields, have formulated this plan in the wake of months of in-depth analysis.
The plan would enhance personal and national security through separation from the Palestinians (to the extent possible), while retaining full security control in the West Bank until a final status agreement is reached — all while preserving the conditions which will allow for a negotiated peace deal with the Palestinians.
The plan is informed by the following assumptions:
- There is currently no feasibility for the establishment of a demilitarized Palestinian state alongside Israel within the framework of a final status agreement based on the principle of “two states for two peoples”.
- Terror cannot be stamped out by force alone. It is also untrue that incitement is the sole cause of terror. Terrorism draws on a variety of social, nationalist and religious sources, and is amplified by a sense of despair.
- The illusion of the status quo: If the peace process remains frozen it will lead to new rounds of violence, deterioration in security and increased political isolation. It may render the two-state solution impractical.
- The situation on the West Bank requires the continued deployment of the IDF until satisfactory security arrangements are put into place within the framework of a final status agreement.
- Israel is strong enough that it can – and must – launch an independent initiative aimed at changing the situation dramatically and improving its standing in the regional and international arenas.
Alongside detailed security recommendations, therefore, the plan advocates complementary economic and political steps, simultaneously addressing the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.
Members of the movement have no illusions that the situation can be changed overnight. Only an integrated effort combining military and civil-economic measures in the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza can bring about significant, sustainable improvements in Israeli security. Isolated actions in one field or in a single geographical area are not enough to confront the complex challenge facing the State of Israel. At best, such actions may have a short term effect – or no effect at all. In the worst case they might create new problems.
The strength of the plan lies in its practical recommendations; measures designed to bring about significant change without engaging in futile debate as to whether or not we have a negotiating partner, while preserving conditions for future negotiations with the Palestinians on a permanent status arrangement when circumstances allow.
The movement is united in its view that immediate adoption by the government of this roadmap in its entirety, along with steps to begin its implementation, will help restore calm and provide Israel with benefits in the local, regional and international arenas.
We therefore submit this plan to Israel’s decision makers and the general public for consideration.