On June 6th, 2004, the Israeli cabinet voted to dismantle Israeli settlements in Gaza in accord with the Sharon Plan. When the Knesset considers the rest of the Sharon Plan, the issue that promises to be the most hotly debated is the almost unnoticed Clause Five -- mandating military training of Palestinian armed forces to secure the region. This training is to be done in conjunction with the U.S., the UK, Jordan and Egypt, despite the fact that Clause One of the Sharon Plan declares, “there is no Palestinian partner to peace."
In other words, the Sharon Plan, ratified by a sovereign Israeli government, is offering to arm an entity declared by Israel to be hostile to the State of Israel.
Has this happened before?
Back in 1993, with the genesis of the Olso Process, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres offered to provide military training for Arafat's Palestinian Liberation Army.
At the time, Rabin and Peres had come to the conclusion that the Palestinian armed forces would use their weapons in the context of a peace process by controlling terrorism.
Yet in September, 2000, Rabin and Peres were proven wrong when the arms and military training they had provided for the Palestinian armed forces was turned against the people of Israel. A new terror campaign resulted in the premeditated cold murder of more than 1,000 men, women and children, and the maiming of more than 10,000 Israelis and foreign guests in Israel, including some Americans.
It is that same Palestinian armed force at war with Israel the Sharon Plan now proposes to arm once again.
To that end, Sharon's government has bestowed security responsibilities on Muhammad Dahlan. Dahlan is thought of as the warlord of Gaza and thus the one to control things. Meanwhile, Israeli intelligence warns that Dahlan is directly responsible for the current terror campaign against the Israeli population.
Indeed, it was Ehud Olmert, now Israel's deputy defense minister, who exposed Dahlan's security file during an an impassioned essay in the Wall Street Journal on June 3, 2002 where Olmert called for Dahlan to be "eradicated."
Two years later, senior officials who serve in Israeli intelligence say there has been no change in Dahlan's "modus vivendi", and that Dahlan continues his direct involvement with the planning of lethal terror acts. Indeed, Dahlan is the head of the Palestinian organization known as the Popular Resistance Committees, which took credit for the May 2, 2004, killing of expectant mother Tali Hatuel, who was murdered in her 8th month of pregnancy, along with the point blank shooting deaths of her four little girls. One week later two Palestinian terrorists opened fire at several hundred mourners gathered at the site where Tali and her four daughters were gunned down. The exchange of fire between IDF troops and the gunmen lasted for half an hour, during which the settlers remained on the ground and hid behind vehicles and mounds of earth.
Yet Olmert is now the prime proponent of the Sharon Plan and will not comment on why he suddenly places his trust in a terrorist whom he had called on Israel to eliminate just two years ago.
Meanwhile, in what promises to develop into yet another hot security issue, the Sharon Plan calls for the Egyptians to move their armed forces into Gaza, while officials in Israeli intelligence gather daily documentation showing that Egypt knowingly facilitates weapons tunnels to smuggle arms into Gaza from Egyptian territory.
Many people have scrutinized the Sharon Plan only in terms of how it would affect the lives of 7,500 Israeli farmers near Gaza. However, it is absolutely critical should be examined in terms of the security threat it must pose to people who live anywhere in Israel.