The Strategic Challenge of Gaza

[Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs] Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant - Disengagement caused the terror organizations to turn to new terror methods such as Kassam rockets, tunnels, and crossing over from Gaza to Sinai and then into Israel's Negev, as happened in January 2007 with a suicide bomber in Eilat. The source of most of the knowledge of using mines, explosives, and anti-tank missiles is Iran, which is influencing Iraq, Lebanon, and Gaza. It is now possible for terrorists to move freely between Gaza and Egypt, and from there to Syria, Lebanon, and Iran for training. Iranians also come to Gaza to hold training exercises. A few years ago, Fatah's Al Aqsa Brigade in Judea and Samaria was bought out by Iran and activated against Israel according to Iranian instructions. The Iranians are using whatever they can in order to attack the West, and this is a major change in the situation in the region. Israel left Gaza almost two years ago, and the Palestinians were left with natural gas, greenhouses, and fields. In other words, they had the option to take another route. However, they chose the terror route and elected Hamas. According to Israel's estimation, Gaza will remain unstable because of certain basic factors having to do with population, territory, and resources. Hamas' leaders may give up using terror temporarily, but they will never give up their ideology. Knowing this helps Israel understand that even though a ceasefire cuts down on terror, it does not create a solution to the problem, since it is only temporary. Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant was appointed Head of the IDF Southern Command in 2005, after serving as Military Secretary to Prime Minister Sharon. He also served as Head of the Gaza Division, and as Head of the Naval Commando Unit.

2007-04-19 01:00:00

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