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Former Chief of Staff Dan Halutz (archives)
Photo: Yaron Brener
Halutz: Dubai hit helped deterrence
Former IDF chief of staff explains Hamas man's assassination contributed to Israel's deterrence against terrorist organizations and states that support them. 'Anyone like Mabhouh needs to think twice before every move,' he states, adding he opposes military strike against Iran

Former Chief of Staff Dan Halutz on Tuesday addressed the storm surrounding the assassination of senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai.

 

"Every person like him, whose assassination is being attributed to us in the world by foreign sources and chatty Israelis, needs to think before every move, trip, ticket ordering, or hotel booking online. These actions deter terrorist organizations, as well as states, who understand the capabilities of Israel's intelligence," explained Halutz.

 

Halutz, speaking at a Tel Aviv University conference dealing with Israel's deterrent power, also referred to the assassination of Imad Mughniyeh.

 

"His assassination was attributed to Israel, and this created deterrence. It is not for nothing that Nasrallah has been sitting in a bunker for three-and-a-half years. He though and still thinks that the moment we can, we will assassinate him. It damages their conduct and deters (them).

 

"Every country, including Iran and Ahmadinejad, has something to lose, but not terrorist organizations. Every one of their leaders are at risk," Halutz said.

 

The former military chief implicitly criticized Israeli officials who cooperated with the Goldstone Report: "We speak of Ahmadinejad, but some of the statements made recently in Israel are no less bombastic than what is being said about us."

 

In reference to the Iranian threat, Halutz said he is opposed to taking military action against the Islamic Republic. "Against totalitarian regimes, like those around us, the hit must target the regime. Missiles and destruction do not always achieve the goal."

  

On the same subject, Halutz leveled criticism at Israeli officials who threatened to attack Iran: "Threats must not be made without the intention of acting on them. In our neighborhood, this does not work."

 

Halutz also spoke about the security situation in the north following the Second Lebanon War and estimated that in the case of another conflict, Israel's home front will have weaker resilience than the other side.

 

"There is a massive gap between what we are willing to pay and what the enemy is willing to pay. The more satisfied a population is, the less it is willing to sustain hits."

 

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