IDF Gaza commander: Talk of pullout encourages terrorists
There is a link between the recent rise in terror attacks in the territories and Israeli declarations about a unilateral withdrawal from settlements, according to Brigadier General Gad Shamni, commander of IDF forces in the Gaza Strip.
"There is no doubt that it has an effect," Shamni told Army Radio. "We saw it in Lebanon, too [before the IDF withdrawal in 2000]. The moment you talk about withdrawal, it puts fresh wind into the sails of the organizations working against us," Shamni said. He noted that the increased number of terror incidents in the Gaza Strip over the past two months also reflects the inability of Islamic Jihad and Hamas to carry out attacks outside of Gaza.
Meanwhile, senior officers who were involved in the establishment of the Migron outpost northeast of Jerusalem said there was no foundation to Defense Ministry claims that the outpost was legal, "even if a blind eye was turned to its construction, or if assistance was sometimes given by sources within the defense system."
The government apparently will not adopt an IDF recommendation to make the evacuation of Migron a cabinet decision, a step that would appear to add legitimacy to the move, weaken opposition among some settlers, and shorten the legal process involved.
Under current circumstances, the IDF is required to give the settlers at least 72 hours notice before evacuating them, which gives them time to organize resistance.