The considerations of unilateral withdrawal are not the same as the considerations of an agreed-upon withdrawal. In the absence of an agreement, the margin of safety must be expanded, and all possible scenarios must be taken into account.

Without an agreement, Israel should not have left Philadelphi Road, and now it must not permit the opening of the Gaza sea port and airport.

All these should be subject to an agreement in which the PA commits itself to maintain law and order in the Gaza Strip, to demilitarize its area of curved trajectory weapons and to disarm the terror organizations.

… The events of the past few days and the swift deterioration of the situation in the Gaza Strip demonstrate the need to take all necessary steps to prevent the entry of curved trajectory weapons and anti-aircraft guns into the Gaza Strip.

It is reasonable to assume that the decision makers in Israel took into account the possibility that the IDF would be called upon in the future to return to the Gaza Strip for short or long periods of time in order to deal with terrorist nests. But this scenario become more tangible and more dangerous in light of the withdrawal from Philadelphi Road…

When the IDF is called upon to enter the Gaza Strip in the future, it will encounter armed resistance more dangerous than what it experienced in Operation Defensive Shield in the West Bank…

Dr. Ganor is Assistant Dean of the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya
This article appeared in Yediot Ahronot on September 26th, 2005