A tactical move to thwart Kassams

There is no connection between the current Gaza incursion and the disengagement from Gaza.

amnon lipkin-shahak  (photo credit: Courtesy)
amnon lipkin-shahak
(photo credit: Courtesy)
There is no connection between the current Gaza incursion and the disengagement from Gaza. Last summer, the nation decided to leave Gaza. At that time, it is important to remember, the IDF was only in Gaza to protect Israeli citizens. Today's incursion into Gaza was necessitated by reality. We couldn't fail to react after a soldier had been captured and Kassams had been fired at Ashkelon. I assume that the army reached the decision that there was a need to enter Gaza and I am sure they made the right decision. I don't have the intelligence information that they do. One can't go into Gaza except in force. That is the only way to enter Gaza. The operation in northern Gaza does not endanger Gilad Shalit. Those who hold him know that, if anything should happen to him, Israel will find them and put them on trial. This incursion is a tactic, not a strategy. If it makes it harder to fire Kassams on Ashkelon, then this is the right decision. It's like a cat-and-mouse game. Our job is to prevent them from firing Kassams. We must take out the Kassam factories, the people who shoot the Kassams, and the ones who ordered them to fire. Troops are being put in danger. However, if the choice is between putting soldiers in danger or putting the residents of Ashkelon in danger, then that's why we have an army. The IDF went into Gaza to free the soldier and stop the Kassams. As soon as the IDF sees no reason to be in Gaza, it will leave. I don't have the information with which Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz make their decisions. But from what I see, they are doing a good job. Lt.-Gen. (res.) Amnon Lipkin-Shahak is a former IDF Chief of General Staff and the chairman of the board of the Peres Center for Peace. (Interview by Ehud Zion Waldoks.)