Director of the office of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said that the security coordination with the Palestinian Authority (PA) significantly contributed to ending the Second Intifada.
According to Dov Weisglass, who served as the director of Sharon’s office during the Second Intifada, 500 Israelis were killed during the Palestinian Uprising before the initiation of “Operation Defensive Shield” by the Israeli army in the occupied West Bank in 2002. Following the operation, another 500 Israelis were killed by 2005.
Weisglass said in an interview with Maariv, translated by Safa News Agency, that “the Second Intifada was eradicated thanks to the effective security coordination with the PA, and not because of the military invasion.”
He added: “In the West Bank, the Palestinian operations were halted as a result of the effective security coordination with the PA rather than Operation Defensive Shield; and because God removed [former Palestinian President Yasser] Arafat from our way and brought us [Mahmoud] Abbas, who believed in the vitality of vanquishing terrorism.”
Weisglass called on Israel to launch a military offensive similar to “Operation Defensive Shield” in Gaza due to the existence of a multitude of challenges in that area; however, he noted that: “No one has the courage to initiate such an operation.”
Regarding the period that followed the Israeli “disengagement” from the Gaza Strip in 2005, Weissglas indicated that “after the withdrawal, the armed attacks continued; however, we were confident of Abbas’ balanced efforts to control Gaza properly.”
He insisted: “Unfortunately, we found that the extent of discipline among the PA’s military forces to their leadership in Ramallah is very low.”