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May 31, 2018 2:28 pm

‘No Easy Military Solution in Gaza,’ Says Top Israeli Official

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Deputy Minister Michael Oren. Photo: The Israel Project.

Israel knows there is no easy “military solution” to continued attacks by Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip, a top Israeli official told the popular American broadcaster Hugh Hewitt on Thursday.

Michael Oren — a Kulanu MK and deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Office who served as Israel’s envoy in Washington, DC, for four years — told Hewitt, during an interview on the tensions at the Israel-Gaza border, “There’s no easy military solution for us.”

Said Oren: “Understand that we could send our army in there and destroy Hamas. We’d lose many hundreds of soldiers. We may kill thousands of Palestinians who are being used as a human shield. But the morning after, we’re going to be stuck holding the keys to Gaza, and no one’s going to take them from us.”

He concluded: “To my mind, the only long-term solution is by deepening the difference between the reality for Palestinians in Gaza and the reality for Palestinians in what we call Judea and Samaria, the West Bank, where there is economic prosperity, there is security, and create a situation where the Palestinians in Gaza are going to say enough is enough, and they’re going to get rid of these thugs. That’s the only solution.”

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Oren also examined the Gaza conflict in the light of the larger challenge to the north posed by Hezbollah, Iran’s Shi’a proxy in Lebanon.

“If Hamas goes to war against us in the south, it could trigger a competitive strike by Hezbollah in the north, and Israel, like any country, doesn’t want to fight any war, but it certainly doesn’t want to fight a two-front war,” Oren said. “And Hezbollah is vastly more powerful than Hamas.”

Oren continued: “The rockets that hit us in the last couple of days were not homemade rockets. They were imported rockets, very high quality from Iran and Syria. It shows you who’s behind all this.”

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