Minister of Construction and Housing Yoav Galant at the Maariv Leaders Conference.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Housing Minister and former IDF Southern Commander Yoav Gallant called on Monday for continuing efforts to reach a long-term cease-fire deal with Hamas before rushing to war, as some politicians are pushing for.
Speaking at the Maariv Conference in Jerusalem, Gallant attacked those calling for war as persons who lack experience and do not understand war or the limits of IDF power.
“We need to think ten times before going to war. People who do not understand war can be over-aggressive… We only go to war as the last option… But if we get to war, then we hit with extreme force,” he said.
Gallant said that he is never afraid of war, and that the IDF is ready and can defeat Hamas easily at any point.
However, he said that right now Israel is playing Hamas’s game by having conflict on the Gaza border week-after-week and that even after a full war, Israel will still need to deal with Hamas and the issue of Gaza.
Recalling that Hamas has fired tens of thousands of rockets on Israel since the 2000s, he said that overall Hamas has been squeezed by the land and maritime blockades on it and that mostly its current policy of confrontation on the Gaza border is designed to get global attention and relieve some of the pressure.
Gallant implied that despite Israel’s military successes and advantages over Hamas, including recently defanging its tunnels’ threat, that without solving the economic woes and pressure of Gaza, there will be no security for Israel.
He suggested that Israel create greater economic opportunity in Gaza if Hamas ends the border conflict and restores quiet.
At a later stage, assuming Hamas moves toward reducing its arms, Israel would then also facilitate larger long-term economic projects to better life in Gaza.
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