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September 9, 2018 11:52 am

Top IDF Official: Absolute Quiet in Gaza Not in Cards for at Least Next Decade

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Palestinians riot on the Israel-Gaza Strip border, May 14, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Ibraheem Abu Mustafa.

Absolute quiet in the Gaza Strip is not in the cards for at least the next decade, a top Israeli military official predicted on Sunday.

In a pre-Rosh Hashanah interview with Radio Darom, Maj. Gen. Herzi Halevi — the head of the IDF Southern Command — expressed skepticism about ongoing international efforts to broker a long-term ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, stating, “I think we must not delude ourselves.”

Hamas-ruled Gaza, Halevi noted, was “teeming with terrorism.”

Israel, he pointed out, was stronger than Hamas “by orders of magnitude,” but the Islamist group would “continue to test us from time to time.”

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Regarding a potential Israeli takeover of Gaza and toppling of Hamas, Halevi said, “I don’t see how that would improve our security situation. We know how to take actions in the future, if we’re called upon to do so. That includes conquering Gaza. But I’m not sure it’s the wisest option to implement.”

Halevi also voiced support for steps to improve humanitarian conditions in Gaza, including the establishment of a commercial seaport, “as long as it doesn’t strengthen Hamas.”

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