Hamas supporters
Hamas supportersAbed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90

Hamas rule in Gaza is better than the alternatives, Southern Command leader Sami Turgeman declared Tuesday - namely, IDF rule from without and chaos from within.

"There is no substitute to Hamas as a sovereign power in Gaza," he stated during a meeting of regional leaders, according to Yediot Aharonot. "The alternative is the IDF and chaos in the government." 

"Israel and Hamas have mutual interests in the current situation," he added. "It's quiet and calm for growth and prosperity."

"They do not want a global jihad, it threatens Hamas and us," he claimed. "There is also a common interest to prevent a humanitarian crisis in Gaza."

"The struggle against Hamas is not a military one," he elaborated. "Anyone who thinks that fighting between Israel and Hamas is only due to military force against each other does not have the facts right. We cannot prevent Hamas from growing stronger, let's face it."

"We need to understand every few years there will be a round [of fighting]," he continued. "As I understand it, the alternative is to try to find periods of quiet as often as possible."

The head of the regional council districts, Shay Hajaj, commented, "clearly the terrorists are engaged in terrorism today, during a 'ceasefire', and are prepared to fight the next war." Hajaj speaks after the IDF officially opened an investigation into terror tunnels being rebuilt in the Gaza Belt. 

"And it is clear to everyone that the next war, whether in north or south, will be difficult," he added.