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Chief of Staff: Israel is preparing for a war with Hamas and Hezbollah

May 6, 2014 at 3:38 pm

Israel might battle Palestinian fighters in the Gaza Strip and Hezbollah in Lebanon, Israeli Chief of Staff Benny Gantz said yesterday.

Gantz visited training camps in the north of the occupied West Bank. He said the deadline for peace talks came to an end on April 29 and the Israeli army is now training to be ready to face challenges on all fronts; southern (Gaza), northern (Lebanon) and the West Bank.

“Palestinians will not remain silent forever,” he said, noting that the Israeli army is developing its capabilities in all fields.

When asked about political issues, he refused to answer saying that it is the role of politicians to answer such questions. He said that he was expressing his worries as a military leader.

In a report broadcast on Israeli TV’s Channel 2 Gantz said that the world around Israel had changed. He said that Israel was preparing to face the Syrian army, but now they are preparing themselves to face armed groups.

He candidly expressed Israel’s worries regarding Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza. “We are monitoring them closely,” he said, “and we do not rule out a massive confrontation with them in the future.”

Gantz said Hezbollah’s rockets can reach all Israeli cities; therefore, his army is developing its capabilities to face this challenge.

There is no reason for the Israeli army to carry out unilateral military operations in Sinai because Tel Aviv maintains good relations with Cairo, Gantz explained. He reiterated that there is continuous contact between the Israeli and Egyptian armies.