A senior official at Israel’s Defence Ministry has warned that the collapse of the Palestinian Authority will lead to the collapse of Israel’s peace agreement with Jordan. Amos Gilad was speaking at the 12th world summit of the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism held in Herzliya. He also called on the Israeli government to rein in right-wing groups which carry out the so-called Price Tag attacks against Palestinians, saying that such violent criminal acts of terror are intended to drag Israel into a religious Armageddon scenario. The Ministry’s Director for Policy and Political-Military Affairs referred specifically to the recent firebomb attack on a Palestinian taxi, and the attempt lynching of a Palestinian youth in West Jerusalem’s Zion Square.
According to Haaretz newspaper, Gilad called on the Israeli government to treat right-wing violence against Arabs and Palestinians “just as it treats terrorist attacks targeting Israelis”.
While noting that security cooperation with Egypt is conducted as a dialogue, Gilad said that Israel’s peace agreement with Egypt “should be guarded every day”. It’s hard to see how Israel’s security will be stable if there is no peace with Egypt, he added. Furthermore, Gilad said that he is “impressed” with Egypt’s military campaign in Sinai in the wake of the recent murderous terrorist attack on Egyptian soldiers in Rafah during Ramadan.
Turning to the current wave of protests engulfing the occupied West Bank, Gilad called on the Israeli government to pay more attention to Palestinian living conditions so as not to be drawn into “a very serious war” which would threaten the Palestinian Authority’s very existence. The PA’s security agencies, he claimed, “are not concerned about terrorism”; nevertheless, he said that it is important for security coordination to take place between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The protests against the Ramallah-based Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, could lead to the dissolution of the PA, said Gilad, and if that happens, it will have a serious effect on Israel’s peace treaty with Jordan.
In closing, Amos Gilad said that he regards Iran to be Israel’s main enemy, with the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, both of whom reject Israel’s right to exist, a close second.