INN.com reprinted past statements by Israeli leaders on the question of whether Israel could someday be hit by rockets from Gaza. Some are delicious:
HISTORICAL SURVEY OF ISRAELI LEADERS: WILL ROCKETS FALL? By Ezra HaLevi
Israeli leaders were split over whether there would ever really be rockets falling on Israeli territory from Gaza. Israel National TV’s Yechezkel Lang compiled their sentiments and predictions. (in chronological order)
Group A – No
All you do all day is threaten that there will be Katyusha rockets landing in Ashkelon. Would you mind telling me why there are no rockets fired from Aqaba to Eilat?”
Foreign Minister Labor MK Shimon Peres
September 9, 1993
We’re familiar with the Likud’s horror stories. They promised us Katyushas from Gaza, but Gaza has been under the primary control of the Palestinian Authority for more than a year now, and there hasn’t been a single Katyusha.
Prime Minister, Labor MK Yitzchak Rabin
Jun 20, 1995
A particularly favored line is that the Likud’s dire predictions of Gaza turning into another Lebanon, with Katyusha rockets hitting Ashkelon, have proved unrealistic and plain silly.
Jerusalem Post Editorial
Aug 11, 1995
The purpose of the Disengagement Plan is to reduce terror as much as possible, and grant Israeli citizens the maximum level of security…These steps will increase security for the residents of Israel and relieve the pressure on the IDF and security forces in fulfilling the difficult tasks they are faced with. The Disengagement Plan is meant to grant maximum security and minimize friction between
Israelis and Palestinians.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
December 18, 2003
Before the withdrawal from Lebanon, the Intelligence Directorate also threatened us with Katyushas reaching Hadera and we see what actually happened. I estimate, and my estimate is just as valid as those that threaten us with horrors, that after we leave the Gaza Strip, terrorism will decrease, not increase.
Former Mossad Head, Labor MK Dani Yatom
Maariv, Feb. 5, 2004
I anticipate that the level of terrorism will drop after the disengagement and after pragmatic Arab forces take control.
Defense Minister, Kadima MK Shaul Mofaz
Jul 02, 2004
We will find a full answer to the Kassams without crossing lines.
IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz
Speech at Bar Ilan University
Mar 24, 2006
Group B – Yes
If we cut and run, Gaza will be taken over by terror organizations… Gaza’s squares shall be transformed into launching platforms of Katyushas toward Ashkelon … The only way to defeat terrorism is by controlling its bases.
Likud MK Ariel Sharon
Maariv, June 12, 1992
“Every time there is a wave of terrorism, all sorts of ‘experts’ say that we should unilaterally get out of Gaza. If we do so, the Gaza Strip will become a cancerous thorn of terrorism, 1,000 times more dangerous than it is now. What will we do when katyushas are fired from Biet Yachie on Ashkelon and from Biet Hanoun on Sderot?”
Tourism Minister and Moledet Leader MK Rehavam Ze’evi
Knesset Minutes, March 1993
You have to tell the citizens of Israel how you plan to prevent terrorist attacks from the Gaza Strip. How will you prevent Katyusha attacks on Ashkelon?”
Likud MK Moshe Katsav
Jerusalem Post, May 24, 1994
We must take into account that after withdrawal, Ashkelon, a major Israeli city, will be within the effective range of Kassam rockets. In the future, when sea and airports are built in Gaza and we will have no control, they will have Katyushas with a longer range that can also reach Kiryat Gat or southern Ashdod.
Major General (Res.) Yakov Amidror
Maariv, Feb. 5, 2004
If the Disengagement plan is carried out, Kassam rocket attacks will be the lot of cities from Ashkelon to Ofakim [also inside Israel], and will become a daily occurrence.
Yisrael Beiteinu Head, MK Avigdor Lieberman
July 5, 2004
After the withdrawal, Kassam rockets will rain on Ashkelon.
NRP Head, MK Effie Eitam
Kol Israel, Israel Radio
Tuesday, June 29, 2004
Steve Plaut’s addition :
From “The Israeli-PLO Accord,” by Steven Plaut, Midstream, November 1993 (published 6 weeks after the Oslo “breakthrough”)
“‘It’ might happen after the entire West Bank and Gaza were under PLO rule, or ‘it’ might even happen earlier….Katyushas pour down on Israeli population centers. Some rockets were financed with Arafat’s share of the revenues from the Nobel Peace Prize. Gangs of terrorists cross the Green Line and there is an endless chain of blood baths… The media are filled with stories about the unequal status and oppression of Israeli greenline Arabs. The Israeli Left concurs, arguing that only more concessions will end the violence….As the death toll mounts, Israeli reprisals increase in ferocity. A full-scale war commences in which Syria, Iran and maybe even Egypt rush in to defend their Palestinian brethren, helping them resist Israeli aggression and imperialism.”