OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Nitzan Alon has done it again. You may recall that Alon was the “senior military official,” who as commander of the Judea and Samaria Division blamed the massacre of the Fogel family in March 2011 on undefined acts of vandalism in Arab villages allegedly carried out by Israelis.
He also told The New York Times that he disagreed with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s view that Hamas’s takeover of Gaza following Israel’s withdrawal demonstrated that a unilateral withdrawal from Judea and Samaria would be reckless in the extreme.
Over the past four months Alon has been criticized for his refusal to take actions to end the massive proliferation of terror attacks against Jews in Judea and Samaria. For months Alon ordered IDF soldiers to stand down as Palestinians hurled rocks and firebombs at them and at civilians. He set rules of engagement that are so restrictive that soldiers are better off running away from Palestinian mobs than defending themselves and Israeli civilians.
After Adele Biton, a three-year-old girl, was critically wounded when her mother’s car was stoned, and as online videos proliferated of IDF soldiers fleeing from assaults, and of Israeli civilians being beaten and assaulted on the roads with firebombs, rocks and bullets, the media finally began reporting on the terror surge. Public pressure mounted for Alon to finally take action or be fired from his post.
You might think that given public scrutiny of his failures Alon would keep a low profile. But he hasn’t.
On Tuesday he spoke to a group of foreign journalists and diplomats and said that in his “professional” opinion, if we don’t start negotiations with the Palestinians soon, we are likely to see an escalation of Palestinian terrorism against Israelis.
Alon’s claims deserve scrutiny because they expose just how deeply his political views impede his ability to understand and competently perform his duties. Alon disclosed that the Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements is the group behind the riots and the attacks on Israeli civilians and military forces. The group, he revealed, is bankrolled by the Palestinian Authority.
According to Alon, out of respect for US Secretary of State John Kerry’s attempts to renew peace talks, the PA suspended the group’s funding. He explained that this PA decision has led to a steep drop in terror attacks.
Alon said that the PA has kept its funding cutoff – like the funding itself – secret. He attributed the PA’s silence to its leaders’ modesty and moderation.
In his words, “They weren’t looking for diplomatic recognition for the move but rather for the territory to quiet down.”
Alon also mentioned that PA security forces are involved in stone and firebomb attacks on Israelis.
He warned that if Kerry’s attempts to start peace talks between Israel and the PLO fail, then Palestinian terror will get worse. In his words, “If, in a few weeks, the attempt of the American involvement will go [away] with nothing, I’m afraid that we will see this trend of escalation even strengthening.”