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A Worst Case Scenario:
A Palestinian Guerilla Offensive
on the Outskirts of Tel Aviv

Yuval Steinitz
Policy Paper No. 60, from the book,
Israel and a Palestinian State: Zero Sum Game?, 2001


A basic assumption underlining the Oslo agreements has been that deployment of a Palestinian military presence in Judea and Samaria would not create a strategic threat to Israel. This argument assumed that a Palestinian force would be insignificant against the mighty IDF, as well as in comparison to the huge armies of the three regional powers: Egypt, Syria and Iraq.

Our aim is to challenge this view. An analysis of the optimal Arab strategy shows that Palestinian forces in the immediate surroundings of Israel's civilian and military backyard will make them the decisive factor in case of war. The Palestinians, in coordination with a general Arab offensive will simply cross the green-line and move several kilometers into Israel in order to attack or to interfere with most of the country's airfields, reserve camps, main roads, telecommunication centers, national TV and radio stations, major military headquarters, civilian neighborhoods, government offices, etc., as was alleged in the past by one of Israel's most prominent political thinkers, former Prime Minister Shimon Peres.

The paper examines three prevalent dogmas which "allow" generals to neglect the possibility of such a guerrilla-like offensive. The paper suggests some operative answers, focusing on the need to supply a wide spectrum of self-defense capabilities to Israel's rear.

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