Major-General (Res.) Amos Gilad has admitted that Israel cannot eradicate Hamas entirely. But, the Director of Policy and Political-Military Affairs and Chair of Security at the Israeli Ministry of Defence warned, Israel can hit all Hamas institutions in case it has missiles and is able to use them. His warning came as Israel’s Intelligence Minister, Dan Meridor, said that the current calm in the Gaza Strip and West Bank “is misleading”.
Quoted by Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, Gilad explained that Israel is determined to destroy any deterrence factors possessed by both Hezbollah and Hamas if the two groups have long-range missiles which threaten the lives of Israeli citizens. The reserve army officer was speaking at a “Fighting Terrorism” conference. He said that Hamas is incapable of attacking and beating Israeli forces, as was evidenced by the fact that they could not capture any soldiers during Israel’s assault on Gaza in late 2008 and early 2009.
Gilad claimed that several Palestinian factions seek assistance from Iran in order to promote their defensive capability; Tehran, he suggested, does not hesitate to support factions with money and arms. He also said that there haven’t been any commando-style incursions into Israeli territory recently, although there are factions which are determined to undertake such attacks with Iranian support.
Speaking at another conference, Dan Meridor said, “Gaza and the West Bank have been calm over the past months and this is good, but it’s also misleading. Those who believe that the situation will remain the same are dreaming.” He said that just as the activism of “terrorist organisations” has changed so too must the “war on terrorism”.
Commenting on the increasing number of international and local human rights reports documenting Israel’s war crimes against Palestinians during the brutal assault on Gaza, Meridor said, “it’s easy to sit in The Hague or at Harvard University and preach to us, but we must fight terrorism [sic] while at the same time preserving human rights.” Their violation, he added without shame, “is prohibited”.