The government must turn the Pillar of Defense counter-terror operation into open war, Brigadier-General (res.) Amatzia Chen told Arutz Sheva.
“This nonsense where we always hear the Prime Minister and his ministers saying the goal is to improve deterrence, that’s all blather,” said Chen, one of the IDF’s veteran war heroes.
“Terrorists do not understand that. The fact is, they’ve continued their terror against us for 30 years,” he continued. “They took into account that there would be an operation like this, and it simply does not scare them.”
“They’ve set their final goal – to conquer the state of Israel,” Chen stated. “We must treat them accordingly.”
Ever since the first months of the first Lebanon War, the IDF has been held back from conquering territory or defeating the enemy, he said. “The state of Israel has refrained the entire time from bringing all its strength to bear in order to determine the battle. Instead, they send terrorists the message that they can shed Jewish blood as long as the option not to go to war remains open.”
“It’s not clear why Israeli society allows this war of attrition of a few missiles each day,” he added.
Chen proposed a course of action. “The state of Israel would do well to declare war against the terrorist organizations, whose activities have earned us the right to self-defense,” he said. Then, he continued, “instead of bringing in ground troops, Israel should flatten one village after another from the air… of course, informing all the residents, by phone, loudspeaker, in every possible way, to leave the area.”
“It sounds problematic,” he noted, “but that’s war.” The only way to topple Hamas is through pressure on the population of Gaza, he said; not by killing them, “but by asking them to leave their homes, one block after the next.”
Chen has called for a tougher response to Gaza terror in past interviews as well.