According to The Voice of Judea, “After IDF Chief of Staff [Moshe] Yaalon issued harsh criticism against the Sharon government for ‘being too strict with the Arab population’, Yaalon was called to order by Defense Minister Moufaz, who reminded him that military officers are supposed to execute decisions made by the elected officials. Maariv on-line quoted government officials demanding an apology or a resignation from the Chief of Staff.

“Close aids to Sharon said that Yaalon’s criticism caused irreversible damage to Israel at a time when Sharon has to overcome huge pressure from the Americans and the Russians.”

Yaalon, however, refuses to retract his statements, and will likely refuse to resign.

Apparently, despite Sharon’s rhetoric and threatening behavior, many at the IDF feel that Sharon has gone overboard, and that if he is truly serious about peace, then, for certain, they need to ease up on the Palestinians, and work with their moderate leadership to advance change.

“Senior military sources, who reflect the dominant feeling in the IDF General Staff, said Tuesday that Israel should have treated Abbas differently, by giving him control of every Palestinian city he asked for and by refraining from discussing the fate of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat.

“In order to prevent a similar debacle this time around, the IDF is advising the government to remove the military blockades from West Bank cities such as Bethlehem and Jericho, to differentiate between terror-free and terror-filled areas, and to allow free travel for Palestinian vehicles in the West Bank.”