Israel’s Interest in Leaving Occupied Territories

In the Houston Chronicle, Professor Michael Desch makes the argument that Israeli withdrawals from occupied territories save Israeli lives.

Israeli Foreign Ministry figures reveal that while Qassam
rocket attacks increased marginally from 2004 to 2005 (309 to 377), the
total number of terrorist attacks declined by almost 40 percent during
that same period (from 3888 to 2456), mostly due to the over 50 percent
decline of terrorist attacks in Gaza. In 2004, 117 Israeli civilians
and security forces personnel died in terrorist attacks. In 2005, the
year of the Gaza withdrawal, 45 Israelis died, a decline of more than
50 percent.

Withdrawal from the occupied territories makes strategic sense because
the vast majority of terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians and
security personnel take place there. In 2005, the most recent year for
which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports figures, of a total of
2456 total terrorist attacks, less than 8 percent (195) took place
inside the Green Line. Judea and Samaria were the site of nearly half
of the terrorist attacks in 2005. Despite the recent upsurge in
violence, the overall trend is clear: Withdrawal from occupied
territory reduces, rather than increases, the terrorist threat to