Security & peace negociations
Security for Israel is the foundation of any successful effort to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Any peace agreement would likely collapse in the event of a terrorist attack or military invasion that the agreement was widely seen as having enabled.
And only when the question of security is satisfactorily addressed will leaders have the political capital required to resolve the remaining core issues of the conflict.
Though security is often framed as a distinctly Israeli concern, a future state of Palestine would be affected by many of the same threats, and would have a shared interest in finding ways to counter them.
Security is particularly important in an unpredictable region, with many hostile forces that will likely work to bolster extremists and undermine any peace agreement. Neither party can afford to be naive about the threats they face.
The threats faced by Israel are real and they are serious. So from an Israeli perspective, any peace agreement must not inhibit Israel’s ability to protect itself against them–and ideally should strengthen Israel’s capabilities.
From Israel’s founding in 1948 until the 1967 war, Israel’s security strategy was driven by a doctrine of pre-emption.
Because Israel was so small and narrow, and because Israel’s population centres were so close to its borders with enemy countries, Israel was forced to take the war to its enemies’ territory by way of pre-emptive attacks.
This approach protected Israel for its first two decades. Israel’s victory in the 1967 war gave it control of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and other territories, providing Israel with a territorial buffer against attacks on its eastern, southern, and northern fronts and giving rise to a new strategy of “territorial strategic depth.”
The strategy was devised at a time when the primary threat against Israel came from a conventional military attack, particularly from tanks and ground troops belonging to multiple Arab countries along its eastern border.
The concept of territorial strategic depth is used to justify Israel’s military presence in a large swathe of the West Bank, including the Jordan Valley, in order to repel ground troops coming from the East and to regulate smuggling from Jordan, an enlarged territorial envelope around its capital,
Jerusalem, since it lies right along the 1967 Lines and would be immediately susceptible to attack, a territorial buffer along the 1967 Lines to protect important Israeli infrastructure and population centres, the high-ground of the Judean Mountain Ridge, which overlooks the major Israeli population and commercial centres as well as Ben Gurion Airport; a corridor along the West Bank to mobilize troops to the Jordan River and the road network in the West Bank, in order to move forces swiftly throughout the territory.