Researchers: Peace may increase risk of air terror in Israel
Dion Nissenbaum-March 26, 2008
JERUSALEM - Peace agreements, stability and regional prosperity, in an interesting paradox, increase the risk of air terror in Israel, according to new research conducted by Lt. Col. Ron Tuegeman under the supervision of professor Arnon Sofer of the University of Haifa.
The research, which was published by the Reuven Chaikin Chair in Geostrategy at the University of Haifa, the Fisher Brothers Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies and the Israeli National Defense College, 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, they warn, could become the preferred target of terror organizations.
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,
''The city of Eilat is an example of the complexity of policy-making following the signing of peace accords. The new flight paths G-183 and ''cross-Israel,'' which opened during a period of positive trends in planning, are now weak points which put the Israeli air defense establishment in a very difficult position.
It seems that today, with the hindsight of the air terror attack on the United States, these lanes of air travel would not have been opened,'' write the researchers, who propose 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. (NewsPress)