JERUSALEM (Feb. 8)
Practically 100 percent of the soldiers serving in the administered territories would rather do their reserve duty on the Lebanese border than in the administered territories Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin told American visitors Tuesday.
He said it was their preference to serve there despite the fact that 22 soldiers have been killed on the Lebanese front in the past year, compared to three in the West Bank and none in the Gaza Strip.
Rabin was responding to questions from members of the American Jewish Committee’s Board of Governors, who are in Israel this week on a fact-finding and policy-review mission.
Rabin noted that only 4 percent of the Israel Defense Force outlay goes to dealing with the uprising. The vast bulk of its resources and efforts are devoted to war-deterrence, he said.
Rabin insisted that regardless of one’s belief on the eventual political settlement, it is vital that Israel not allow the violence of the uprising to achieve its goals.
He said in his opinion, those goals are the establishment of a Palestinian state and the right of return for all Palestinians.