A commonly obscured historical fact in the Middle East is that the territories occupied by Israel since 1967 are not Palestinian territories at all, but areas that were wrested at that time from the military control of Jordan, Syria, and Egypt, those nations having occupied the areas in question since the 1948 War of Independence.
An article I noticed last night by a former chief of Israeli security not only reminded me of that, but got me thinking about the possibility (or even likelihood) of those areas being reoccupied by one or more of those same powers in the event of the creation of a “Palestinian” state. Or we could possibly even see an Iran puppet state installed in the center of the Jewish nation–an Iranian (or Syrian, or Jordanian, or Egyptian) puppet state armed with any number of long and short range missiles. All the current talk of a two-state solution assumes that any Palestinian state created would have a great deal more stability than its neighbor Lebanon or even the occupied territory of Gaza. (Occupied by Hamas, that is.)
Oh, but there would be guarantees of international oversight, so this would never be a problem! Guarantees that, so far in recent history, have proved quite useless. Witness the impotence of UNIFIL in southern Lebanon, for instance.
The article’s author, Maj.-Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland, wasn’t quite so blunt about it, but he does point out a few other matters that should grab our attention. Even if (big if) the area could be “demilitarized,” (at least on paper) the nature of the military threats posed have changed to where they’ve moved outside the range of activities that could reasonably be enforced under any demilitarization system currently in use. In the General’s words,
…the real threat comes not from tanks but from rockets, anti-aircraft missiles, and anti-tank missiles. The common denominator among all of these is the ease of smuggling and clandestine manufacture, as is taking place today in Gaza. No monitoring system that may be established will be able to prevent this.
General Eiland goes on to lay out further often-overlooked but major considerations, including tactical aspects as befits his expertise, but the upshot of it, from my inexpert perspective, is that things are not as we’re accustomed to perceiving them, and that our misperceptions could be very dangerous indeed.