Tuesday, January 28, 2003
Linkages - 28th January 2003, 20.55

Behind the scenes, the links between the British and the Israelis may be closer than the recent political spat indicates. The IDF was taking guidance from the British Army on their experiences in Ulster. From UPI hears...

First it was the Israelis studying British military handling of the troubles in Ireland, now it's U.S. Army officers learning from the Israelis. The Americans want to get a taste of how to conduct urban street fighting in case a section of the Iraqi civilian population doesn't put out the welcome mat. A couple of months ago, British army specialists held seminars for a group of senior Israeli officers, including Israel's new chief of staff Gen. Moshe Yaalon, mainly on Britain's Northern Ireland experience. Some U.S. officers were present for those discussions. Since then, others have toured the "Ziv Line," pride and joy of Brig. Yisrael Ziv, commander of troops in the Gaza Strip. This sequence of imposing checkpoints, strongholds and outposts chops this hostile, explosive area into manageable, bite-size morsels. U.S. officers are not the only ones who are impressed: Ziv is being promoted to the General Staff as commander of operations.

Given Israel's importance in any forthcoming war, it is not surprising if visible arguments hide closer (though probably not warmer) co-operation between the security and intelligence forces of Israel and the United Kingdom.


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