Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said Thursday that if Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas (aka Abu Mazen) does not disarm Hamas, the much-vaunted PLO/Fatah-Hamas reconciliation will have been proven to be nothing but a sham.
In a meeting with foreign attachés stationed in Israel, held at the Kirya base in Tel Aviv, Yaalon predicted that “Abu Mazen will not rule Gaza.”
"If he reconciled with Hamas, we demand that he control the [Gaza] Strip and disarm Hamas. If he does not do this, the reconciliation is a false display, meant to trick the world.”
Yaalon stressed that he seeks peace, but does not believe in self-deception. “If the Palestinian leadxership, which the world perceives as moderate, is unwilling to recognize our right to exist as the nation-state of the Jewish people, and declare that any agreement will be the end of the conflict and the end of demands, then what are we talking about? We are realistic.”
"We are faced with many challenges, and they are turning into global challenges. Therefore, we must cooperate and share knowledge with each other,” he told the attachés. “The Middle East is becoming a source of instability in the entire world. The situation is chaotic. The central challenge is Iran. The Iranian regime is the number one cause of instability in the Middle East, and we identify its fingerprints in every conflict in the region.”
Yaalon noted that Iran is involved in asisting Syrian president Assad to massacre his citizens, and helps terrorists who attack US forces in Afghanistan, besides assisting terror forces in Iraq, Bahrain, Yemen, Lebanon (Hizbullah) and Gaza (Islamic Jihad).
“We fight the Iranian tentacles – for instance, in the form of the fire from Syria and Gaza, but the head is in Tehran,” he added. “And therefore, one way or another, be it diplomatic, economical or military, and as a last resort, the Iranian regime must be prevented from developing nuclear weapons. We will know how to defend ourselves if we have to.”