"It's a battle between our strong desire to reach peace and the end of the conflict, and between Hamas' desire to perpetuate the conflict and prevent a solution for us and our neighbors," Eisenberg said. "These aspirations of Hamas can only lead us to an inevitable confrontation in the future."
During a farewell ceremony held for Eisenberg at the Gaza Division headquarters, adjacent to the southern Israeli Kibbutz Reim, he added that even after Operation Cast Lead Hamas did not let go of its commitment to resistance, although "the operation proved to our neighbors that not only do we know how to hold a sword, but also how to swing it in a decisive, painful way.
"These were two stormy years in a time full of challenges," he said. "These challenges are in fact Israel's struggle for independence and for our right to live here as a free people in its country."
The incoming Gaza Division commander, Brigadier-General Yossi Bachar, said that "I now accept the burden of commanding with the great trepidation that comes with understanding the extent of the mission."
At the end of the event, Eisenberg passed on to Bachar his classified communication device. "It will not bring you good news," the outgoing commander said, adding "The division is lucky to receive a commander like you, and I am certain that together you will reach new heights."
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