Peace process may lead to an increased risk of air terror in Israel

Published: Sunday, March 30, 2008, 13:06 [IST]


Washington, March 30 : A new research has revealed a unique paradox in relation to peace agreements, stability and regional prosperity in Israel, linking them to increased risk of air terror in the country.

According to a report in Newswise, Lieutenant Colonel Ron Tuegeman conducted this research at the University of Haifa in Israel under the supervision of Professor Arnon Sofer.

The research reveals that during the past few years, the civil aviation traffic has increased dramatically in Israel's neighboring countries. This increase includes not only the number of actual flights, but also the number of flight paths that pass close to Israel.

According to the researchers, peace agreements and normalization of relations between Israel and her neighbors will require, among other things, opening up Israel's airspace to civilian airliners from these neighboring countries, including flights that originate in countries with which Israeli does not have peace agreements.

These flights, the researchers warn, could become the preferred target of terror organizations.

As example, the researchers pointed to certain flight routes that were opened in the 1990s over Israel's airspace following peace agreements with Jordan and Egypt, that didn't take into account the terror attacks like 9/11.

"Israel's airspace is very small. The flight time of an airliner - civil or military - from Beirut to Haifa is about seven minutes, and two minutes from the border crossing at Rosh Hanikra. Crossing the width of the entire country by air takes less than five minutes. Therefore, the task of defending this open space is a big challenge," stressed the researchers.

According to the researchers, the closeness of the worldwide jihad to Israel warrants a complete change in the way Israel thinks about defending against air terror.

They have proposed that in any future political settlement, Israel must consider protection of its airspace, knowing that daring air terror with no early intelligence warning is no longer an imaginary scenario.

ANI
 

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