Top IDF and security officials meet in Tel Aviv to plan for a wide range of potential scenarios if Israel officially declares annexation of the Jordan Valley and Judea and Samaria.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi and the head of Israel’s General Security Services Nadav Argaman will meet today at the Kirya Base in Tel Aviv to discuss planning for potential scenarios if Israel officially declares annexation of parts of the Jordan Valley and Judea and Samaria.
Other top IDF and security officials, such as the heads of the Operations, Intelligence, and Planning divisions, the head of the Central Command, security supervisors for Jerusalem and Hebron, and others will also be present.
Israel Hayom reports the meeting will focus mostly on possible reactions from the other side to annexation, such as Jordan and the Palestinian Authority completely halting security cooperation with Israel, widespread riots in Judea and Samaria that could develop into a third intifada, and violence increasing in other areas, like the Gaza Strip.
According to Israel Hayom, there’s a fierce debate among senior security officials regarding annexation. Many officials are worried about the potential blow to ties between Israel and the Kingdom of Jordan.
It’s widely thought that despite public statements condemning annexation, King Abdullah II won’t end the peace treaty between Israel and Jordan. But there’s a possibility that intense domestic opposition may force the king to make a serious move to “save face.”
In Judea and Samaria, security officials are unsure of the Palestinian response and are preparing for a wide range of scenarios. Some officials believe that if the annexation is mostly symbolic, it’s possible that Palestinian resistance will be limited. Other officials say that the declaration itself is enough to spark widespread uprisings.
Officials agree that the greater the annexation area, the greater the likelihood of violent opposition.
Most security officials believe that PA declarations severing ties with Israel will be mostly symbolic, with limited cooperation on security matters continuing behind the scenes. But with enough internal pressure, especially from Hamas, the PA may need to act in order to appease the public.
For the last few months, the IDF has been preparing for the possibility of annexation, with troops undergoing specialized training and leaders strengthening coordination between the IDF, the Israel Police and the Shin Bet. Logistical preparations have also been made, with extra weapons and equipment secured.
On Tuesday, Defense Minister Benny Gantz met with Chief of Staff Kochavi and told the IDF to be ready for post-annexation scenarios. Kochavi told Gantz that the IDF would benefit from advance warning about such an event, with more information being shared so that forces could better prepare.
So far, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been keeping details about annexation, including the maps involved, secret.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has publicly cut ties with Israel and the U.S. over the possibility of annexation and said all security arrangements with Israel have ceased.