Speaking with Arutz-7's Yigal Shok, Shteinitz said that this week's murderous terrorist attack in Eilat, in which three Israelis were killed, proves that his warnings against relinquishing control of the sensitive Philadelphi Corridor were correct.



In 2005, then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon agreed not only to give away the Gaza Strip and the Jewish communities there, but also the strategically important Philadelphi Route along Gaza's southern edge - an area used for years by terrorists to smuggle in terrorists, weapons and drugs.



Israel agreed to allow Egypt to deploy 750 soldiers along the Philadelphi Route, which runs through the border city of Rafiah. IDF troops remained for only several more weeks following the Disengagement, until under strong pressure by U.S. Secretary Condoleeza Rice, an official agreement was signed under which Israel agreed to forego almost all control in the area.



"This was one of Israel's worst mistakes in history," Shteinitz told Arutz-7. "It has been proven that we cannot trust the Palestinians or the Egyptians, who are conducting a campaign of intentionally ignoring the arms smuggling into Gaza"



"Egypt has decided," Shteinitz said, "to enable the arming of the Palestinian people and all the terrorist organizations, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, against the State of Israel."



Shteinitz has longed warned of Egypt's bellicose intentions towards Israel. He continues to emphasize even now that Egypt helps train terrorists by enabling them to pass from Gaza to Lebanon and Iran for training, briefing and receiving new terrorist methods and technologies. "Egypt is not acting like Jordan, which liquidates the smuggling networks and prevents quantities of arms from reaching the border," he told Arutz-7.



U.S. pressure on Egypt, at the behest of Israel, could help improve the situation, Shteinitz said.



Shteinitz also continues to call for a major military offensive in Gaza to destroy the terrorist capabilities there. "This can wait, however, until after Hamas and Fatah finish shooting each other - but it must be clear that as time passes, they bring in more and more explosives for rockets and large bombs to be used against our tanks."



"The longer we wait, Israel will have to pay a higher price, in terms of rockets at Sderot, terrorist attacks and stronger military capability by the enemy," Shteinitz said.



Asked to evaluate the current Defense Minister and future candidates, Shteinitz said that Amir Peretz has proven to be unsuitable for the job, and that Ehud Barak failed when he withdrew the IDF from Lebanon with no guarantees.



Shteinitz feels that he himself has the proper experience necessary to render him a worthy Defense Minister. He also feels that the Likud will soon return to power:

"The whole country is waiting for the Likud to return. We have more experience, wisdom, and daring regarding national security and foreign affairs than any other party. I have no doubt that, with Netanyahu as Prime Minister, and with people like me and others in the Defense, Foreign Affairs and Public Security ministries, we will do a much better job."