November 01, 2003

Israel Army Chief Criticizes Sharon

As the Guardian reports, 'Israel's army chief has exposed deep divisions between the military and Ariel Sharon by branding the government's hardline treatment of Palestinian civilians counter-productive and saying that the policy intensifies hatred and strengthens the "terror organisations".

Lieutenant-General Moshe Ya'alon also told Israeli journalists in an off-the-record briefing that the army was opposed to the route of the "security fence" through the West Bank. The government also contributed to the fall of the former Palestinian prime minister, Mahmoud Abbas, by offering only "stingy" support for his attempts to end the conflict, he said.

Gen Ya'alon had apparently hoped his anonymous criticisms would strengthen the army's voice, which has been subordinated to the views of the intelligence services in shaping policy.

But the comments were so devastating that he was swiftly revealed as the source. '


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