WATCH: Israel Must Always Control Jordan Valley, Ex-Security Official Says

DEBORAH DANAN

TEL AVIV – Israel must retain military control of the Jordan Valley if it is to protect itself, a former national security chief said in a new video.

There is only one place on the eastern side of Israel that meets all three criteria necessary for a defensible border, Maj. Gen. (ret.) Uzi Dayan said in a video made for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, and that is the Jordan Valley. The three components are “strategic depth, ability to defend yourself from an attack from the outside and finally, fighting terrorism effectively.”

“The Jordan Valley is the best line that you can rely upon,” Dayan, who served as head of Israel’s National Security Council, noted. “There is the Jordan River, there is the ridge overlooking the Jordan Valley, [and there are] only five strategic passages. And there are actually very few Israelis and almost no Palestinians in this strip, so it’s enough to deploy, for example, two divisions in a crisis time if needed.”

Also, Dayan notes, “We know that if you don’t control the envelope of the region, very quickly some terror groups like Hamas will take over, and they invite the Iranians and, all of a sudden, you have an Iranian outpost. There is an outpost in Lebanon, there is a partial one in Gaza, we don’t need another one in … the West Bank and near Jerusalem.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reiterated on numerous occasions that Israel will not give up military control of the Jordan Valley in a future peace deal with the Palestinians.

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