"Now that Hamas has been exposed as being behind the rocket attack on Eilat and Aqaba, the Egyptians will take care of them," said Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amos Gilad, head of the Defense Ministry's political-security branch.
In an interview with Ynet on Thursday, Gilad called Tuesday's attack on IDF soldiers along the Lebanese border "murder". Lt.-Col. (res.) Dov “Barry” Harari was killed in the border skirmish and another senior IDF officer sustained serious wounds.
"This was a hostile and murderous act, carried out without any justification or reason," Gilad said. "The IDF was operating within Israel territory, period. We know this and the world knows this."
Gilad said the Defense Ministry had warned of a possible clash along the border given the reality in south Lebanon, which he called "Hezbollahstan".
"This was not the act of a lone, crazed soldier," he added.
Gilad said that for all intents and purposes, the Lebanese army does not control south Lebanon. "Hezbollah is in control there. It (Hezbollah) also causes the army to act in ways that go against the Lebanese government's interest, which is peace and quiet along the border.
"It is as though a cancerous growth is consuming Lebanon from within – the government, parliament and now the army," he said.
Gilad estimated that in light of the warnings issued by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak following the incident, "Calm will eventually be restored to the northern border."
Addressing Monday's rocket attack on Eilat and the Jordanian port city of Aqaba, Gilad said, "Hamas is looking to undermine the national interests of three countries – Israel, Egypt and Jordan – and is acting against the moderate Arab countries.
"Such actions prove that Hamas is a violent, extremist organization whose goal is to undermine the efforts to launch direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians," he told Ynet.
"It is clear that Hamas and Hezbollah – backed by Iran – are tying to destabilize the Middle East."