An Israeli Major General who was the governor of the Gaza Strip between 1971-1972 recently said that killing 500 Palestinians in Gaza would bring calm. Speaking about the rockets that are fired from Gaza into Israel, the retired officer Yitzhak Pundak suggested that, "For every missile they fire, we [should] reply with 20 artillery shells. If we kill 500, they'll calm down immediately."
"Today, I can't tell the IDF what to do. But I'm sorry – we are not dealing with the Gaza Strip in the right way," Pundak told Israel's Channel 2 on Tuesday, during a ceremony in which the 100-year-old officer was raised to the rank of Major General.
"In the 1970s – '71, '72 – I was governor of the Gaza Strip. In these two years the Strip calmed down completely. If they played soccer, I kicked the first ball. I presented the prize. They held 12 farewell parties for me.
"Today, they fire missiles and we reply by using the Air Force against the tunnels. I'm sorry… If we [choose to] sit in shelters then we will sit in shelters our whole lives," said Pundak. He said that for every missile fired from Gaza, Israel should reply with 20 artillery shells, stressing that if the Occupation kills 500 Palestinians in Gaza, then "they will calm down immediately."
"And believe me, I have a lot of experience with this. I dealt with the Arabs for five years," he added.
Pundak had told the army Radio several months ago that the Israeli army razed many Arab villages in 1948, but said "My conscience is at ease with that, because if we hadn't done so, then there would be no state by now. There would be a million more Arabs."
Yitzhak Pundak was a commander in fighting on the southern front during the War of Independence. In 1953 he was made a commander of the armored corps, and in 1971 he was appointed by then Defense Minister Moshe Dayan as Governor of Gaza, with the rank of Brigadier General. Dayan had promised Pundak in 1954 to promote him to the rank of Major General, but that promotion did not come until almost 60 years later.