Ehud Barak
Photo: Ido Erez
Barak: If ordered, IDF can conquer Gaza
Speaking at conference on Operation Cast Lead defense minister says that 2009's military campaign could have ended 10 days earlier than it did
Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Friday that should the cabinet give the order, the IDF could overrun Gaza Strip.


Speaking at a conference focusing on the Operation Cast Lead decision making processes, Barak added that "If the cabinet deems it needed, the IDF can conquer and rule Gaza."


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Elaborating on the 2009 military campaign, which was launch following incessant rocket fire on Israel's south by Gaza terrorists, Barak noted that "There was no need to drag the fighting for 22 days. That lesson is true for other things as well."


Barak elaborated on various issues regarding the planning, execution and lessons of the Gaza operation, noting that the IDF's withdrawal from the Strip was late: "We could have pulled out 10 days earlier," he said.


He commented then-IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi and then-GOC Southern Command General Yoav Galant, saying that they "Headed the operation in a calm, confident manner, according to all set objectives."


During the conference, the defense minister made sure to skirt the issue of a possible strike against Iran's nuclear facilities, saying only that Israel "must maintain a clear vision when setting its targets and the private discussion on the matter must be honest."



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