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Israeli Army opposes planned NATO deployment in West Bank

GAZA, Dec 3 (KUNA) -- The Israeli military on Wednesday objected to a planned NATO deployment in the West Bank in case of Israeli pullback.
A day after US President-elect Barack Obama chose retired general James Jones as his national security adviser, Israeli defense officials said that they were opposed to the deployment of a NATO force in the West Bank following an Israeli withdrawal, a plan Jones supports, the Jerusalem Post reported.
A former commander of NATO, Jones has for the past year served as a security envoy to Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
During his meetings with Israelis, Jones has proposed that a NATO-based international force deploy in the West Bank in the interim period between an Israeli withdrawal and the Palestinian forces becoming able to control the West Bank, it said.
The plan was proposed to ease Israeli concerns, the paper added.
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) are particularly wary of such a plan, a top IDF officer was quoted as saying, adding that the military's operational freedom in the territories was responsible for the drop in "terrorist attacks".
"NATO is a very bad idea," the officer said. "No other country in the world has successfully dealt with terror like Israel has. There is a need for continuous combat; NATO will not want to endanger its soldiers on behalf of Israeli citizens," he added.(end) zt.mt KUNA 031216 Dec 08NNNN