An Israeli army official warned that "Gaza is a ticking time bomb" and the Strip must be completely demilitarised as it poses a serious threat to Israel.
Speaking during a conference at Bar Ilan University yesterday, Brigadier General Gal Hirsch said Israel repeats what he believes is the mistake of "always want[ing] to finish the war quickly". Hirsch criticised Israel's tendency of wanting to reach a peace agreement and the urge to "give up land every time someone stabs us".
Israeli sources reported Hirsch warning that "Gaza is a ticking time bomb", before suggesting that Israel needs to "integrate preventative measurements, and … concentrate its security efforts on working against the people of Gaza. "There needs to be international financial pressure," he stressed, "and we need to completely demilitarise the Gaza Strip."
"Operation Defensive Shield in 2002 had a huge effect on Palestinians in Israel. It taught them that Israel knows how to fight and win. Our problem is that we always want to finish the war quickly, and never have to return. We want to reach a peace agreement".
The thing is I don't see a solution right now. We're in a continuous war. We won, but we still need to prove it every day
Arutz Sheva reported Hirsch saying.
Hirsch also launched an attacking on Breaking the Silence, an Israeli organisation of veteran soldiers who are campaigning to expose the atrocities carried out by Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank. "Breaking the Silence is an embarrassment," he said. "It's a disgrace. They're trying to teach us the 'proper' way to speak about the Six Day War. We're a democracy. We need to find the right balance."
Another panellist at the conference organised by Israeli NGO "Im Tirtzu" and backed by the US-based Middle East Forum mentioned that Gaza needed to be treated as a separate country and spoke of separating the Palestinian Authority. "We need to recognise Gaza as a country," said Dr Mordechai Kedar. "It's been a country for over ten years. They have everything that a country needs."
"The Palestinian Authority, on the other hand," added Kedar "needs to be broken down."