Israel’s security concerns justify its demand for defensible borders, which are the military manifestation of the reference in UN Security Council Resolution 242 to the right of Israel, as any other country, to “secure and recognized boundaries.”
As detailed in this comprehensive analysis, from a national security and military point of view, defensible borders are those that allow Israel to effectively defend itself by itself – to deter, thwart, prevent the development, and supply timely early warning against all potential military threats involving all possible dimensions. These include:
- The territorial dimension – threats from distant areas and those adjacent to Israel as well as from inside the territory Israel controls.
- The time dimension – threats that currently exist as well as those foreseen in the medium and long term.
- The military dimension – conventional and unconventional threats, terror threats of various kinds, ground operations, underground threats, aerial activity of different kinds, including planes, UAVs, drones, ballistic and cruise missiles, naval and other threats.
- Additional threats involving the cyber arena, water, and communications security.
Defensible borders do not necessarily mean that all threats can best be treated from the same line, but that all resources necessary to achieve Israel’s defense requirements are within its borders. From this point of view, it is clear that the concept does not deal just with a certain outer perimeter but with the characteristics of the territory under Israel’s direct and indirect control. It has to take into account the specific topography, demography, history and political situation.