A former Israeli army general has declared that Israel can successfully invade the occupied Gaza Strip, reported Israel Hayom.
Yair Golan, the former head of Northern Command and once deputy chief of staff, was speaking to the paper about his political ambitions and the state of the nation.
Criticising the manner that the 2005 “disengagement” was implemented – Israel’s unilateral withdrawal of settlers from the Gaza Strip – Golan said it was nevertheless the right decision.
“In the first five years of the Second Intifada, 147 Israelis were killed in Gaza. Since 2005, 121 Israelis have been killed there, including all the soldiers who died in all military operations,” he said.
When asked why Israel does not invade the Gaza Strip, Golan replied: “They’re afraid to fight. Afraid of casualties. It wouldn’t mean 500 dead. We give the enemy too much credit. Fighting in Gaza doesn’t come without a cost – fighting in an urban setting is fighting on the ground.”
“The assumption is that if we go into Gaza, we’ll be bogged down there for years, is wrong,” he added.
Addressing the broader political situation in Israel, Golan told the paper: “If things were normal [here], the two big parties would have set up a coalition that nothing could bring down. Seventy MKs, a solid majority that would also represent the people of Israel.”
“The ideological differences between the Likud and Blue and White are slim to none,” he continued. “In a functioning world, a centrist coalition would have been formed, neither Right nor Left, which would do things that most of the Israeli people want.”