Gadi Eisenkot
Gadi EisenkotTomer Neuberg/Flash 90

Minister Gadi Eisenkot, a member of the War Cabinet who lost his son Gal in the war in Gaza, gave an interview to the Channel 12 program “Uvda”, which aired on Thursday evening.

In the interview, Eisenkot described how he and Minister Benny Gantz prevented an attack against Hezbollah that would have started a war on the northern front as well.

"We prevented a very wrong decision because if - according to the publications - a decision were to be made to attack Lebanon, we would have realized [Hamas leader Yahya] Sinwar's strategic vision of immediately bringing about a regional war. We would have immediately harnessed the entire axis in Syria, Iraq, Iran, while Hamas, which caused us the greatest damage since the establishment of the state, would have become a secondary arena. I think our presence there prevented the State of Israel from making a very serious strategic error," he said.

In his opinion, there will be no war in the north. "There are identical interests in not reaching an all-out war. [Hezbollah leader Hassan] Nasrallah is very afraid of it, for us it is not desirable at this time, we need to achieve achievements, and try to close this event. On the other hand, we need to be prepared."

When asked if he trusted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's way of conducting the war, Eisenkot replied, "Today I trust the collective and the joint cabinet to make decisions. I am already at the stage and age where I do not blindly trust either this or another leader and I judge the man by his decisions and by the way he leads the country. Ignorance by someone in the chain of command does not exempt him from responsibility, on the contrary."

He also commented on the issue of the hostages being held in Gaza and the way to return them. "We must boldly say that it is impossible to return the hostages alive in the near future without a deal. The hostages are scattered in such a way - also underground - that the probability of military activity for their release is extremely low. Efforts are still being made and we are looking for every opportunity, but the probability is low and to say that it will come from there - is unrealistic."

Asked where the campaign against Hamas is headed, Eisenkot replied, "In my opinion, fateful decisions will be made in January, regarding the continuation of this campaign. A strategic achievement has not yet been achieved, it has only been partially achieved. We have not defeated the Hamas organization. Anyone who says that there was a very significant damage, and the destruction of capabilities in the north of the Gaza Strip, is telling the truth."

In his opinion, Israel will have to go to elections in the coming months. "Within a period of months, we need to go back to the Israeli voter and go to elections to renew trust, because right now there is no trust. The situation is complex because on the one hand, you want to be united against the enemy and towards the soldiers who are fighting now, so that they hear one united voice who wants the IDF to win, so that we can achieve a better future. And on the other hand, the State of Israel is a democratic country, which should ask itself, after such a serious event, how to continue from here with a leadership that has failed miserably."