Everything going on right now is due to two decisions taken in the past, according to Brig. Gen. (res.) Amir Avivi, CEO of Habithonistim - Protectors of Israel.
Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Avivi explained that Israel’s disengagement from the cities in Gaza through the Oslo Accords allowed for Hamas to begin to build up rocket capability.
“Before Oslo, the only real issue in Gaza was throwing stones. After Oslo, it became completely military,” he said.
Later, when Prime Minister Ariel Sharon pulled Israel out of Gaza, this led to a terror state ruled by Hamas, who began building a militarized infrastructure.
He noted that Sharon’s chief of staff told him that in one year Gaza would become a terror state. “This is exactly what happened.”
Avivi said that the solution to the current crisis is for the IDF to continue to attack Hamas and Islamic Jihad operatives until the mission is accomplished.
This means a minimum of 70 to 80 percent destruction of Hamas and Islamic Jihad capabilities.
Habithonistim is calling for an “open ending” situation.
“An ‘open ending’ means there is no ceasefire, there is no agreement. Our objective is to eliminate all the major terrorists in Hamas, all their leaders. We probably won’t manage to do it during the operation so the check needs to be open. We need to be able to take care of that later on, whether it’s a week, a month or six months.”
Taking out their major leaders will be the only way to create stability in the long run.
The way forward is to have a physical ceasefire but no agreement, Avivi noted.
The examples of Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon should be emulated. There is no ceasefire in Syria, and when Israel needs to attack to protect itself, it attacks. With Hezbollah, the terror group has 150,000 rockets but they don’t shoot them because Nasrallah lives underground in a bunker and knows that if they attack Israel, he will be the first to be killed.
Avivi added that with over 3,000 rockets fired at major cities, Israel needs to learn from what hasn’t worked in the past with Hamas and find a new course.
“This is unacceptable. Nobody can decide for us how we need to defend ourself,” he said. “We need to be strong. We have one clear responsibility, to secure the State of Israel and the people of Israel.”
With the military infrastructure Hamas has built up in Gaza in the years since Oslo and the disengagement, a serious problem has presented itself.
“Now we are trying to do our best to minimize (Hamas’s) capabilities and buy some time,” he said.