...The battle against the tunnels will not stop this threat and will not disrupt it. It only diverted us from addressing the major threat before us.
Hamas must be destroyed now
By Shlomo Gazit, General (ret.), former head of Military Intelligence
[Translation by IMRA. Origin Hebrew distributed by Shlomo Gazit to his distribution list.]
30 July 2014
IMRA note: Shlomo Gazit, General (ret.) is a leading and prominent member of the Israeli ex-brass in the Israeli "Peace Camp"
Even if we take the optimistic point of view and assume that IDF forces won't leave the Gaza Strip unless we know that all the attack tunnels, to the very last one, were destroyed (and I make this assumption despite the clear cut assertion of IDF officials that they cannot ensure this), what is to prevent Hamas forces from repairing the damage and digging new tunnels, on new routes, tens or hundreds of meters alongside the previous route? Our battle against Hamas will not end on 2014. The new tunnels could be for offensive operation in 2016 or 2017.
We have neither attacked nor defeated Hamas. If we fail to hurt the Hamas leadership with such damage that they are unable to restore and renew their military capabilities - or alternatively reach an agreement with Hamas - we have not achieved anything. To reiterate - Hamas will succeed to organize and be better prepared for Operation Protective Edge 2, in a year, two years or three years. Hamas will do its very best to make it difficult for the IDF to re-enter.
And on another front, and I will not elaborate, it is very possible that the international community will be less sympathetic to Israel in the next war.
This is a serious and existential threat facing us today and this threat must be destroyed today.
The battle against the tunnels will not stop this threat and will not disrupt it.
It only diverted us from addressing the major threat before us.
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