Sa'ar: Ground operation in Gaza a possibility

Justice Minister says no solution to Gaza problem in foreseeable future. government may have to rethink paradigm with Hamas-run territory.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Gideon Sa'ar
Gideon Sa'ar
Ronen Topelberg

Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar spoke this morning (Tuesday) at the annual counter-terrorism conference of the Institute for Counter-Terrorism Policy at Reichman University, and responded to Foreign Minister Yair Lapid's plan to maintain stability in the Gaza Strip: restoring and rebuilding infrastructure in exchange for Hamas' commitment to long-term peace.

Sa'ar said: "I would like to reach a move that addresses the elements of the power bases of Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, which are already beyond terrorist organizations, in exchange for an economic move." He explained that "since this is unrealistic, should we continue with a policy of rounds of fighting, striving for renewed quiet? No, we may very well decide at another time that we find we need to deviate from the parameters that have characterized the conflicts so far."

According to the Justice Minister, there is no more urgent and important task than dealing with the criminal organizations in Arab society and there is nothing more dangerous for Israel than the failure to deal with this problem.

"This is organized crime that is taking over industries, penetrating local authorities and the state has to go to war with it - something that has been neglected for many years. Today this issue is taken seriously, the first legislation we brought was on trade and possession of illegal weapons but we will bring more legislation in the winter," Sa'ar added. "The justice system has been fully mobilized in all areas for this mission. The state needs to uproot this problem."

Sa'ar referred to the meeting yesterday between Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Egyptian President Abed Fatah al-Sisi and said that "the resolution of the conflict should be bilateral. Our neighbors do not want to move forward in resolving the conflict - they pay salaries to the terrorists, they are suing us in the court in The Hague, but I think that if there is a realistic leadership, it can be resolved."

Returning to the ongoing tensions with the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, Gantz said: "a ground operation in the Gaza Strip is a possibility. I think Operation Guardian of the Walls had achievements, and there is a big gap between the practical and subjective accomplishments. I do not want to say in advance what our patterns of military action will be. In the foreseeable future I do not see a solution to this problem."

Sa'ar emphasized that "the Western world likes to live in a world where every problem has a solution. There are problems that have no solution in the foreseeable future. There is a struggle. I do not want to mislead the Israeli public."

The Justice Minister is convinced that the Bennett-Lapid government will be successful: "The previous coalition included 73 MKs, it lasted seven months and did not pass a budget. The current one is more heterogeneous than the previous one, but it wants to exist."

"This coalition is different from everything we are used to and is essential to ending the war of internal Israeli hatred and this is the source of its unity. Many have questioned the government's ability to survive and now it seems to be doing the job, there is a budget and other things," said Sa'ar.