Former Shabak (Israel Security Agency) chief Yaakov Peri on Wednesday morning responded to Operation Guardian of the Walls, explaining why it is important to eliminate Hamas' "chief of staff," Mohammed Deif.
"It's not just Deif, but there is no question that Mohammed Deif, the man with seven lives, is a symbol and that with regards to his position, he is the quote-unquote 'chief of staff' of Hamas," Peri told 103 FM Radio.
"We've known for a long time that every person is replaceable, and the other side recovers very quickly, so there is definitely importance in either chopping or bringing down the heads of the military wing. But that's not what will decide the entire battle, and the fact that we are not managing, operationally, to eliminate him shows his talent for evasion and that the aid he receives from the people around him is nearly hermetic, since the Israeli intelligence abilities are very great.
"I understand that it almost happened, but that 'almost' isn't good enough for us, we need for it to happen. Chopping the heads of Hamas' leaders disrupts and delays - sometimes for a long time - their organization and command, even though Hamas' military wing has commanders below the chief commanders, and they go into action immediately."
Peri added: "I think that the State of Israel should not be the one to initiate a ceasefire. In a less ideal scenario, Israel will respond to the Egyptian or American request, but as long as we have a bank of targets, and it seems we still have one, we should continue crushing them. This is an opportunity which Israel must not miss, in order to try to buy a longer time from this round until the next round [of fighting]."
"I think we could say that Hamas has suffered and is still suffering harsh blows, even critical ones, and this crushing needs to continue, and we are doing it, by the way, in a humanitarian way - warning of strikes and offering humanitarian aid, and the fact that nearly 20% of strikes are canceled because there are civilians in the area is a badge of honor for the IDF and security forces, and I think that we are doing this with great skill, and I think the efficacy is great."
David Rubin, Founder of the Shiloh Israel Children's Fund and the author of the new book, Confronting Radicals: What America Can Learn From Israel, added: "Mohammed Deif is a top terrorist leader and clearly should be eliminated, but the challenge for Israel is political, not military. The main challenge is to have the fortitude to refuse the cynical offer of an early cease fire. In order to really stop "kicking the can down the road, Israel needs to continue and strengthen the offensive, not until Hamas agrees to stop firing rockets, but until Hamas is incapable of firing rockets. When they raise the white flags of surrender, then we can consider a ceasefire and we can dictate the terms. That's the difference between a stand-off and a real victory"
רשת אל ערבייה הסעודית דיווחה אמש כי מצרים הציעה לישראל ולארגוני הטרור בעזה רגיעה מיום חמישי בשעה 06:00 בבוקר. גורם מדיני הבהיר כי "אין שום סיכומים או התחייבויות מצד ישראל".