IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi told the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Wednesday that the buildup of terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip required a swift and urgent response, Army Radio reported. At his first appearance before the committee, Ashkenazi said that one of the main immediate goals he had set for himself was to stem the smuggling of weapons and technology from the Gaza Strip into the West Bank. Following the meeting, MKs expressed satisfaction with Ashkenazi's presentation, and did not hesitiate to compare him to his predecessor, Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz. "After a whole complicated world of concepts that I've heard in recent years, I finally understand what [the chief of staff is] saying to me," said Israel Beiteinu MK Yisrael Hasson in praise of Ashkenazi's mode of expression. MK Zvi Hendel (NU/NRP), too, hailed Ashkenazi's straight talk and understandable approach, saying that "the chief of staff spoke with the committee members clearly and in Hebrew that even I could understand." Hendel added that the chief of staff had spoken "at eye level" and had explained the fine details of what he was saying. "With Ashkenazi [as chief of staff], I will sleep better at night than when Halutz held the position," Hendel declared. Kadima's Otniel Schneller joined in praising Ashkenazi, calling him "a professional" and saying he "looks inward instead of outward and speaks simply and in military terms."