F) Fighting For Peace — the regional context
1. With Jared Kushner’s idiotic backing, Israel is planning to move forward
on controversial plans to annex a broad swath of the West Bank, particularly the Jordan Valley, as early as this summer — according to Jordan’s King Abdullah II, Trump’s flawed Middle East Peace plan, labelled as the ‘one-state solution’ (to confuse Jared Kushner), has been rejected by at least the Arab League and the Germans.
2. Jordan’s King Abdullah II warned that the Israeli government’s plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank could lead to "massive conflict" and said his kingdom is "considering all options", including freezing or cancelling its 1994 peace treaty with Israel. See: Jordan's King Abdullah warns of 'massive conflict' if Israel annexes West Bank
3. This latest development comes days after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
visited Israel for talks with Israeli leaders and ahead of the swearing in of the new Israeli government. Jordan has been lobbying the US and EU member states for the last several weeks to discourage the new Israeli government from moving forward on annexation of the West Bank. The foreign ministers of the 27 member states of the EU met via video conference to discuss the issue.
4. An extract of what King Abdullah II told the German magazine Der Spiegel is set out below:
DER SPIEGEL: Politicians like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu want to take advantage of the opportunity presented by Trump and annex large parts of the Palestinian territories.
King Abdullah II: Leaders who advocate a one-state solution do not understand what that would mean. What would happen if the Palestinian National Authority collapsed? There would be more chaos and extremism in the region. If Israel really annexes the West Bank in July, it would lead to a massive conflict with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
DER SPIEGEL: You would suspend the peace treaty with Israel?
King Abdullah II: I don't want to make threats and create a loggerheads atmosphere, but we are considering all options. We agree with many countries in Europe and the international community that the law of the strongest should not apply in the Middle East.
DER SPIEGEL: For the rulers in the Gulf, the fight against Iran now seems more important than the Israel-Palestine conflict. Do you feel betrayed?
King Abdullah II: Jordan has faced challenging times before. But let me be very fair to my dear friend Mohammed bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and others: At meetings of the Arab League, the proposal for a one-state solution is still vehemently rejected. When the one-state solution plan was addressed six or seven months ago, His Majesty the King of Saudi Arabia said that no, we are with the Palestinian state.
DER SPIEGEL: Germany is your country's second-largest supporter after the U.S. What do you expect from Berlin?
King Abdullah II: I have known Chancellor Merkel for a very long time. The Jordanian-German relationship is at an all-time high. We have an excellent working relationship, including in our military and security services. Germany understands what the right decision is on the Israeli-Palestinian question. We will be allies and friends, I believe, on this issue going forward.
No injuries to Israeli soldiers in incident in Abu Dis; comes amid heightened tensions in West Bank following killing of infantryman on Tuesday
4. An Israeli soldier was killed in the northern West Bank in the predawn hours on 12 May 2020. Following from that 3 Palestinians attempt an attack due to the flawed peace plan.
5. Due to the proliferation of Iranian and Hizbollah missiles in the Middle East, in 2007, Israel was forced to developed its own counter. According to IAI, the 1,600 kg solid-fuel LORA
can hit targets nearly 250 miles away within 10 minutes thanks to an unspecified “supersonic velocity." The missile has a 600kg penetrating warhead and relies on GPS and inertial navigation to get it to the target area. A notional complete containerized LORA battery would include a command and fire control container and four launchers, each with four missiles, plus four reload vehicles. On land, trucks would carry these components, giving them additional mobility and the ability to escape a first strike. At sea, the self-contained nature of the system means a customer could easily load it onto any vessel with the appropriate space, quickly turning it into a stand-off weapon platform. Since the command section has all the equipment necessary to launch the missiles, no other modifications to the ship are necessary. In a maritime environment, the obvious benefits of these systems are relatively low cost launchers and the lack of need for a dedicated missile-armed vessel.
6. With regards to the coming war in the Gaza Strip, Operation Northern Shield (from 4 Dec 2018 until 13 Jan 2019) is illustrative and an example of good use of the general principles of deterrence to the unique operative challenge. The operation located and destroyed 6 Hizbollah tunnels that cross the Blue Line from Lebanon into northern Israel — these tunnels were a violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701. In late 2014, the first hints of a secret Qods Force/Hezbollah project came to light—a flagship plan for developing a massive system of underground attack tunnels due to the IDF’s control of the sky. As part of a wider potential offensive, this network could have allowed thousands of troops to rise up from tunnels that stretched from inside Lebanon into Israeli communities. This display of IDF intelligence and operational capabilities strengthens Israeli deterrence — the Qods Force and Hezbollah were clearly shocked — a reaction manifested in their attempts to minimize the importance of a program. See also: