'Economic development in Gaza could lead to terror'

Chief of Southern Command warns WZO representatives that economic development in Gaza could be exploited for terror purposes.

Ben Ariel ,

Herzi Halevi
Herzi Halevi
Flash 90

The chief of the Israeli Southern Command, Herzi Halevi, warned representatives of the World Zionist Organization that economic development in Gaza could lead to increased terror.

In recordings first published on Kan 11 News on Thursday, Halevi warned the delegates - with whom he met in the Gaza Division and gave them a security review - of what could happen if Israel allowed the entry of economic capabilities into Gaza which its Hamas terror rulers could exploit to carry out attacks.

"You have to show us that Gaza's economic development does not lead to the development of terrorist capabilities," Halevi is heard saying in the recordings, "because when terrorist capabilities develop - then there will be war at the end.”

“I tell you, the IDF is very strong. The stronger the capabilities in Gaza are, the stronger will be the force that we will have to exert. And then we will take Gaza, once again, very much backwards in time. So the solution is a solution that separates the economic boom from the development of terrorism," he added.

Israel has in recent months allowed hundreds of millions of dollars from Qatar to enter Gaza. Most of that money goes to fuel for electricity, salaries and assistance for needy families in the Gaza Strip.

The money initially went directly to Gaza’s Hamas rulers, but following criticism over that, the Qatari envoy announced his country will no longer fund salaries of Hamas employees in Gaza and would instead donate the remaining $60 million in aid mostly through United Nations programs.

Israel has also regularly permitted humanitarian aid and construction materials into Gaza, even though Hamas continues to attack southern Israel with rockets and openly threatens to destroy the Jewish state.