Intelligence minister: Hamas will be defeated in the next war

Intelligence Minister Katz: 'No reason a child living near Gaza border should grow up in the shadow of sirens and rockets.'

Hezki Baruch ,

Yisrael Katz
Yisrael Katz
Hillel Meir/ TPS

Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) , who also serves as a member of Israel's Diplomatic-Security Cabinet, visited Gaza border towns on Tuesday.

Katz began his visit by meeting preschool children in Tkuma, where an incendiary balloon landed two weeks ago. The children spoke to Katz about their summer vacation, and how they are handling the security threats.

"The residents of towns bordering Gaza are true heroes, but our job is to allow them to live normal lives," Katz said. "There is no reason that a child living in a Gaza border town should grow up in the shadow of air raid sirens and rockets. We are obligated to ensure that. No [incendiary] balloons, no [incendiary kites], no rockets."

Together with the Director-General of the Intelligence Ministry and local regional council heads, Katz visited the border area and agricultural areas. There, he reiterated his stance that Israel should create an artificial island near Gaza.

"Israel must decide on the 'island' plan to separate from Gaza," he said. "There is no other strategic alternative. Either we bring down Hamas, or we create an island for Gaza. There's no third option. This is the only realistic plan for changing the absurd reality we now find ourselves in."

"The alternative is a humanitarian crisis, another round of war, or both of them together. Israel must not be dragged into a war of attrition with Gaza. Either quiet, or defeat. In the next war, Israel will be forced to bring down Hamas and to force Gaza into rehabilitating in exchange for demilitarization. But we're not interested in that war.

"We can still choose the strategic option of creating a civil island for Gaza, working together with international bodies, and prevent the next war. Hamas understands that this is a critical moment for them. If we need to fight another war we're not interested in - Hamas will be defeated."