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Intifada Has Been a Failure, Says IDF Chief of Staff

December 8, 1989
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Lt. Gen. Dan Shomron, the Israel Defense Force chief of staff, considers the intifada a failure.

He told a study group here Thursday that in two years, the uprising has failed to involve larger numbers of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip or to establish an alternative system of government to the army and the civil administration.

Instead, Shomron said, the Palestinian leadership tries to “govern through pamphlets.”

Shomron spoke at a seminar organized by Tel Aviv University’s Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, being held to coincide with Saturday’s second anniversary of the Palestinian uprising.

Shomron said the IDF has managed to reduce the level of violence and is now tracking down the hard-core activists who incite the masses.

But he stressed that the intifada could not be suppressed by military force alone, especially in view of the necessary restraints imposed on the use of force.

The chief of staff said intifada activists have not yet resorted to firearms, though they have been secretly encouraged to by Al Fatah and other terrorist organizations.

However, the extensive use of firearms cannot be ruled out if the peace process begins or if it is blocked, Shomron said.

For the time being, he said, stone-throwing is the main problem, adding that he believed punishment should be more extensive.

According to Shomron, severe punishment should be given the parents of stone-throwing youths and second-and third-time offenders should get much longer sentences.

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