Gur Says Israel Will Not Be Surprised Again

Chief of Staff Gen. Mordechai Gur expressed confidence today that Israel would never again be caught by surprise if its enemies decided to attack. He said the disengagement lines on the northern front made a surprise attack by the Syrians impossible and said that Israel had benefited from the mistakes of the Yom Kippur War and was making sure that there would never again be weak spots in its lines. He also pledged that settlements on the Golan Heights, would be strongly defended.

Gen. Gur analyzed the military and political meanings of disengagement at a meeting here as Israeli forces prepared to withdraw from the Yom Kippur War enclave in Syria and portions of the eastern Golan Heights that will be part of the United Nations buffer zone. Army units were busy today packing equipment and loading it on trucks. Bunkers, military installations and Syrian military camps in the areas to be evacuated are being levelled. At the same time, the new Israel defense lines are being manned and equipped. They will be inspected by UN observers to confirm that the limitation of forces agreed to at Geneva is strictly observed.

Gen. Gur said, “For me personally it was more difficult to leave Mt. Hermon than to leave Kuneitra.” He referred to Israel’s evacuation of the Syrian side of the 9200-foot mountain which will be turned over to UN forces. Kuneitra, the abandoned capital of the Golan Heights, will be turned over to a Syrian civilian administration but will be part of the UN buffer zone.

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