Addressing the situation on the Gaza-Egypt border following the disengagement plan, head of IDF intelligence branch, Major General Aharon Zeevi Farkash said on Wednesday that global terror group al-Qaeda exploited bursts in the border along the Philadelphi Route in order to penetrate the Gaza Strip.
Farkash, who lectured at Tel Aviv University during a ceremony carried out in memory of Aharon Yariv of the university’s Jaffa Center for Strategic Studies, warned that al-Qaeda’s interest in Israel has increased in recent times.
In his lecture, which addressed the issue of 'the national situation’, Farkash noted that the aim of unilateral moves “is to advance Israel's interest."
Contradicting Prime Minister Ariel Sharon pledge to the nation that there wouldn't be a second disengagement, the IDF’s intelligence chief sounded less certain, saying that "Israel will have to carry out more unilateral steps in the future, to control developments in the region.
As for the diplomatic situation in the region, Zeevi Farkash said, "I still don't see democracy (spreading) in the Middle East. Today, there is no military coalition against Israel. With that, however, the intensity of rejectionist forces, with Qassam rockets and Shihab 3 missiles, must worry us. The Middle East is social time bomb, and if the positive developments happening in the area are not taken advantage of, negative things will happen.”
“It’s the decision makers who must take advantage of the positive steps," he added
The army's head of intelligence was joined by the prime minister's advisor, Eyal Arad, in calling for further unilateral steps. Eyal was quoted Tuesday as saying that, the diplomatic situation allowing, more unilateral steps would be taken by Israel
"If we see a continued freeze, we may consider turning the disengagement into a strategy for Israel," said Arad, while addressing the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya. At the same time, Arad emphasized that "further disengagements are not the policy of the prime minister.”
Arad added that the disengagement policy was not born out of diplomatic pressure, saying: "Despite its great importance, the disengagement is a not a strategic move but a tactical one. Its focus was to consolidate a formula that would replace the fraudulent formula of land for peace. Since '67, this false formula has existed, but it has waved the banner of an unrealistic deal, according to which peace will come and everything will be fine if we return the territories.”