The Likud's Plan, Simply Put

By Ariel Sharon

(Security first - Jerusalem as Israel's capital only; talks with Syria, but no settlement till after Assad.
The writer, a Likud MK, is a former defense minster)

THE time has come to dispel the confusion and explain the National Camp's position in simple language, without verbal preening.

The Likud cannot accept the Oslo accords. Accepting them means that if we form the next government, we will be forced to continue with a terrible and dangerous agreement; and if we remain in the opposition, we shall not be able to continue the struggle against the agreement and its repercussions.

Critics could justifiably say, "Why are you protesting? After all, you accepted the agreement!" Yet we cannot avoid taking into account certain facts that have already come into being.

We will act as follows:

In areas, minimal for the time being, that have already been handed over to the Palestinian Authority (designated as A areas), we will demand the correction of all violations, namely: an all-out war by the Palestinian Authority against terrorism (which has yet to be launched); the extradition of wanted murderers; confiscation of firearms and all weapons; an end to anti- Israel incitement.

In the areas that have not yet been handed over to the Palestinians we will implement the Likud plan: The Palestinians will be permitted to conduct their daily lives without interference (with the exception of issues requiring coordination). But responsibility for security and the war against terrorism will remain in Israel's hands.

In addition, the areas of Jewish settlement and other security areas will remain under exclusive Israeli rule.

If in the future we decide, within the framework of the permanent solution, to apply Israeli law in these areas, we shall do so.

The security areas include the mountain range, whose width is up to 20 km, east of what was once the Green Line, which strategically dominates most of Israel's population; a strip of about 25 kilometers west of the Jordan River and Dead Sea which enables Israel to defend itself in the east; the area of Jerusalem, including its satellite cities, and the area between Wadi Kelt and the Kidron stream to the northern end of the Dead Sea.

In addition, the main arteries connecting the coastal plain with the Jordan River and the Dead Sea will be included in the security areas, and several kilometers on each side of them. For example: Derech Haim (the Trans-Samaria highway), the Trans-Judea highway, and the Modi'in Ma'aleh Adumim Route.

JERUSALEM will be united forever. It will be the capital of Israel only. PLO and Palestinian Authority offices will be moved out.

Palestinian Security forces, which today operate illegally in east Jerusalem and on the Temple Mount, will be banished from the city. UN forces or UN observers will not be deployed in the area. The grievous error of their deployment in Hebron is enough.

This stumbling government has learned nothing from its bitter experience in southern Lebanon. In Hebron, too, terrorists will operate under the cover of UN observers. As in Kafr Kana, terrorists will find shelter among them after hitting us.

And if the IDF takes action, the world which in the boastful words of the government is entirely with us will react as it has just done in the UN.

The slap in the face this government has just received seems not to have sufficed.

With the Golan Heights we will do as follows:

The Likud government will continue a channel of communication with the Syrians. In general we think, as do several prominent American statesmen, that a final settlement with Syria has to be postponed until the post- Assad era.

This is because of the assumption that, after Assad, there will be a period of instability in Syria, with Israel liable to find itself without the Golan Heights, and without peace.

Every future settlement with Syria will be based on Israel's retention of the Golan. Every weakening of Israel's hold on the Golan, even the most minimal, will require a parallel move on Syria's side, including the drastic reduction of its army (Syria today has 4,800 tanks and 1,000 ground missiles), the removal of all forces from Lebanon, and the complete dismantling of all Palestinian terrorist organizations and their headquarters in Syria.

For those who worry about Israel's security and existence: Before confusion turns you into floating voters, this, in simple language, is the Likud's plan. Through it, peace with security can be achieved.

That is, if the Arabs want peace at all. Which is still an unknown.

(c) Jerusalem Post 1996

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