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Yaalon Photo: IDF Spokesman Unit
Yaalon Photo: IDF Spokesman Unit

Israel can't influence Gaza, former general says

Former Chief of Staff Yaalon says Israel should cut off water and electricity, saying it is unacceptable that a nation supply such things to an enemy

Neta Sela
Published: 09.05.07, 22:40 / Israel News

Former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon called Wednesday for increased pressure on Gaza, following continued rocket fire on Israeli community in the vicinity, noting at conference for strategic thinking that Israel does not have the ability to influence the area using soft power.


He highlighted that Israel "doesn't have the ability to influence things (in the territory), because we don't control Gaza. It is actually a lost fight against Hamas." 

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When asked his opinion of whether electricity and water should be cut to Gaza in reaction to the Qassam attacks (a question that arose at a Wednesday cabinet meeting), Yaalon answered in the affirmative, stating "it's unacceptable that we are supplying these things to the enemy. 


"The question is, how is it that we disengaged from Gaza and are still responsible for its fate?" he continued.  "I fear that this ambiguity is caused by ethical confusion, as well as a practical misunderstanding of the situation.  We disengaged, but did not. For some reason, the occupation did not end."


According to Yaalon, if Israel disconnects electricity and water from Gaza, the finger of blame should be pointed at Hamas. "Hamas, not Israel, is the one who is causing Palestinians to go without their daily bread," he said.


"Hamas' victory over Fatah has caused a strategic change. If, after such a change, we're talking about strengthening one source or another (aka, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas), then we're not relevant," he added, in criticism of the government's behavior.


Yaalon drew a parallel between the situation in Gaza with the Second Lebanon War, saying "unilateral withdrawals from Lebanon and Gaza strengthened served as a tailwind for jihadist Islam – Hizbullah, Hamas, Shiite Iran and al-Qaeda. When we make short-term decisions and invest in quick-fix solutions, this is the result."


He also emphasized that Israel's separation fence with the West Bank is not sufficient to prevent terrorism, noting that recent military actions have caught terrorists near their bases of operation.  "We need to catch terrorists in their beds, not once they try and cross the fence," he said.


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