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Report on the Acquiescence  of the Israeli Government
in Palestinian Authority “First Strike” Preparations

דו"ח: השלמת ממשלת ישראל עם הכנות הרשות הפלשתינית
ל"מכה ראשונה" ביש"ע

Mordechai Sones
Policy Paper No. 107, Hebrew, 2000


first strike: Surprise assault to which the victim is unable to mount counterattack because attacker has destroyed or pre-empted his retaliatory capacity.

Two years ago, the author began work on an independent assessment of the PA military capability in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza (YESH"A). In the course of this study, reports began to surface that the PA military may be acquiring the specialized equipment, units, and training for an overnight first strike against the Jewish communities of YESH"A.

The three major sources of information indicating the possibility of a first-strike have been as follows:

  1. Eyewitness reports from a network of YESH"A residents concerned about security;

  2. Briefings, statements and leaks from IDF officials, the YESH"A Council (Moetzet YESH"A), and the Prime Minister’s office, dealing with reports of a first strike capability;

  3. Independent assessment by a visiting military professional experienced in first strike operations.

Indicators of a first strike include 122 confirmed or suspected armored vehicles in PA hands, rehearsals for night attack near yishuvim (settlements), and gathering of specialized intelligence by Arab laborers on the yishuvim.  The number of armored vehicles indicates a capability for an overnight first strike on about 40 yishuvim.

The actions and statements of the IDF may indicate an official willingness to conduct a sudden “humanitarian” evacuation of an additional 30 or 40 yishuvim shortly after an Arab first strike. Thus in one quick blow, approximately 2/3 of the yishuvim could be taken off the map.

For the complete text of the article (in Hebrew), click here.