From United With Israel, 03/20/14 –
In light of last week’s hostilities with Islamic Jihad, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz lays down the gauntlet.
During a presentation on Wednesday to a high school in Gan Yavne in southern Israel, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz was alarmingly candid.
“If we want to make sure that nothing will come from there, we need to retake Gaza,” he asserted.
Asked why IDF forces had not already done so, he said: “The decision to ‘sleep on it’ is a strategic move.”
His is the latest voice in a chorus of cries from the Israeli leadership that the time has come to act decisively.
“The only solution to this situation of a ceaseless cycle of terror is reoccupation of Gaza and a cleanout of the stables there,” Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman declared, when Islamic Jihad fired more than 90 rockets into southern Israel last week.
His words echoed that of Israel’s Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz, who stated:
“Sooner or later we will have to take control of Gaza, in order to get rid of the Hamas regime.”
Israelis in the south survey the rocket damage. (Photo: Flash90)
Last Wednesday Islamic Jihad fired more than 60 rockets within 24 hours into southern Israel from the Gaza Strip. In response Israel carried out 29 air strikes against terrorist bases located there. By Thursday afternoon Islamic Jihad leader Khaled al-Batsh announced a ceasefire.
“Following intensive Egyptian contacts and efforts, the agreement for calm has been restored in accordance with understandings reached in 2012 in Cairo,” Gantz said on Facebook.
Immediately after wards, Islamic Jihad attacked Israel with more than a dozen rockets. The Israeli Air Force reacted by hitting seven terror sites.
Although it was Islamic Jihad and not Hamas that initiated the current round of hostilities, Israel holds Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, responsible.
Islamic Jihad has strong ties with Iran and is the second- strongest faction in Gaza. Hamas, while hostile to the Jewish state, has largely tried to maintain the ceasefire over the last 16 months. Reportedly hoping to avoid a wider conflict, they did not join in the rocket attacks. However, they did not prevent Islamic Jihad from launching its weapons into southern Israel.
Author: David Fink, Contributor, United with Israel Date: Mar. 20, 2014