Surprise assault to which the victim is unable to mount
counterattack because attacker has destroyed or pre-empted his retaliatory
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:
Eyewitness reports from a
network of YESH"A residents concerned about security;
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;
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.