Amir Peretz
Photo: Yaron Brener

Peretz: Arab world should be part of new Gaza order

Former defense minister and Sderot resident praises decision to launch Gaza offensive, says Israel should explore having international force stationed in Strip

Former Defense Minister Amir Peretz said Sunday that Israel should not rule out having an international force maintain the peace in the Gaza Strip, once Operation Cast Lead is concluded.


"That option should be explored and if enough international elements set up a force which could be deployed in strategic points, it shouldn’t be ruled out."


The operation's end, he said, is still far: "If we compare this operation to the Second Lebanon War, (back) then we didn’t have direct negotiations with the Hizbullah either. Hamas is like Hizbullah, but unlike Lebanon, there is no nation to deal with… what we need to do is find an element to fill that gap.


"The best thing for us to do is to reach a point where the Arab world should be a part of this new order in Gaza and obliged to help maintain it," he added.


Peretz, a resident of Sderot, praised the decision to launch the operation: "The timing was right… We created the national and international atmosphere saying action was mandatory. The fact that we launched the operation after a period of calm proved that Hamas cannot shift blame onto the smaller, more radical groups in the Strip."


The IDF, he continued, is better equipped than it was during the Second Lebanon War: "That was our wakeup call. We have to ask ourselves why so many of the important conclusions were reached only post war, but nevertheless, I'm glad we reached them… I think I had a little to do with it."


As for toppling Hamas' rule in Gaza, Peretz said that Israel should avoid naming that as a military objective. "The Palestinian people have to realize that Hamas is disastrous on their own. Fitting these goals to a military operation is wrong," he said.


פרסום ראשון: 12.28.08, 23:09
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