The Strategic Road Grid of Judea and Samaria

Israel has historically deliberately made the impression that the restorative indigenous communities of Judea and Samaria were founded largely at random by religious and nationalist pioneers and independently of the defense establishment. This is not the case as those communities were all established on public lands and in strategic locations. The Israeli road network in Judea and Samaria is as important as the strategic indigenous communities for Israeli defense. While it is true that the eastern front was active the last time in 1967 have Israeli defense planners always been keenly aware that it may reappear in the future as the ruling Hashemites in Jordan could be unseated just as the last Shah of Iran was removed from power in 1979. Planning as if the Hashemites could not be unseated would be the height of irresponsibility, indeed utmost folly.

The strategic indigenous communities of Judea and Samaria were planned to enable three different final status options. #1 Israeli redemption and enfranchisement of the entire Judea and Samaria when Jewish demography allows. #2 Jordanian annexation of most Arab areas in Judea, Samaria and Israel with Israel retaining the strategic indigenous communities. #3 A Palestinian state in most Arab areas in Judea, Samaria and Israel with Israel retaining the strategic indigenous communities but the Palestinian state would notably have no border with Jordan. The first option was always the preferred one but Israeli defense planners kept open the second and third options should the Hashemites fall from power or demographic developments not take place as anticipated. It would have been irresponsible from a demographic point of view not to keep open the two alternative options but with the historical rediscovery of core Median Jewry have the two reserve options effectively become completely redundant.

Simultaneously as planning the locations of the strategic indigenous communities did Israeli military defense planners draw up a plan for a grid of roads with vital military utility. These roads run mainly west-east and north-south. The plan was that Israel would in either of the three scenarios be able to control strategic points and vital roads in Judea and Samaria were the eastern front to be activated anew. The strategic indigenous communities were established to ensure the permanence of the Israeli military presence in Judea and Samaria and the road grid map was drawn up so as to allow the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) maximum mobility throughout Judea and Samaria without having to enter potentially hostile Palestinian localities. The roads have been established gradually over the decades ostensibly only for Israeli civilian needs in connecting the strategic indigenous communities with Israel. Some planned roads are yet to be constructed. These are actually military roads although in peacetime mainly used by Israeli civilians. This road network is essential for retaining Israeli strategic control in Judea and Samaria for perpetuity.

It is important to understand that the Islamist opposition in Jordan has vast public support and what happened in Iran in 1979 could happen at any time in Jordan. While Jordan provides Israel with essential strategic depth can the political stability in Jordan not be taken for granted. 

The Palestinian Authority was established so that Israel would not have to administer most Palestinians pending a final status resolution. The map of areas A, B and C was carefully planned not only for Israeli retention of strategic indigenous communities but also for allowing maximum mobility for the IDF. Israeli intelligence are not fools and they have of course always been aware of the Palestinian rejectionist strategic agenda and the Israeli government when implementing the Oslo process therefore knew that the ABC map would remain in place for decades since the PLO was always opposed to resolving the question of the descendants of refugees which to them is strategically vital to their vision of taking control over sovereign Israel itself. It is no secret that Palestinian institutions are profoundly penetrated by Israeli intelligence and so Israeli intelligence was always well aware of the Palestinian rejectionist “negotiation” strategy.

Critics of the indigenous restoration project in Judea and Samaria are simply not knowledgeable about the military strategic considerations behind the indigenous restoration project, including the road grid, something which Israel has avoided publicizing. The strategic indigenous communities of Judea and Samaria and the road grid connecting those communities with each other and with sovereign Israel are absolutely vital for the future, security and wellbeing of the Jewish state. 

The frequent claims that the strategic indigenous communities were planned with the purpose of thwarting the creation of a Palestinian state are completely unfounded although a vital function of the indigenous restoration project was always to prevent a future situation where Israel would have borders it could not defend other than through preemptive war. Another purpose with the indigenous restoration project was always to prevent war even were the eastern front to be resurrected. 

The strategic indigenous communities and the military road grid connecting them has always been an anchor of regional stability in preventing war and limiting the conflict with the Palestinians to limited skirmishes that are essentially tactical nuisances but pose no strategic threat.

However, as the June 2023 Turkish presidential and parliamentary elections approach, does Median Jewish mass Aliyah (immigration) to Israel in the tens of millions become increasingly realistic and mass Aliyah of millions of Median Jews from Iraq and Iran could happen even earlier. This means that the Palestinian issue will be resolved by Israel incorporating the entire Judea and Samaria and Jordan subsequently annexing Gaza. 

Israel needs to prepare the international community for the implementation of option #1, namely Israel applying sovereignty over the entire Judea and Samaria. Israel needs to explain that this is not only a vital Israeli national security interest but an international interest in the service of regional stability and the prevention of future wars potentially threatening Israel’s existence.

Israel expelled hundreds of thousands of hostile Palestinians in Israel’s 1947-49 War of Independence in response to the Palestinian and Arab project to push the Jews into the Sea, i.e. implement a Second Holocaust. This could happen again were Israel to be severely strategically weakened to the point of threatening Israel’s existence or were the BDS “movement” against all expectations to succeed in implementing its global agenda. Zionism is a humanitarian movement with liberal ideals and democratic values, but Israel certainly would not hesitate to implement a Second Nakba in order to prevent a Second Holocaust. 

The indigenous restoration project with its strategic road grid should be seen in the context of avoiding such dystopian scenarios by keeping the peace, maintaining regional stability and preventing future wars. The indigenous restoration project was conceived with the knowledge that peace was not imminent, yet in strategically preparing for peace when the time is ready. Judea and Samaria are a mountain range overlooking the main Israeli population centers in central Israel and Israeli strategic control over Judea and Samaria for perpetuity is an absolute strategic imperative indeed. This is not only an Israeli interest but is an interest of all nations – including particularly the United States – that cherish regional stability indeed.

Published by Daniella Bartfeld

Daniella Bartfeld is the founding director of the Aliyah Organization.

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