The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has noted the recent report produced by Lt.-Col. Jonathan Halevy, ‘Al-Qaeda Affiliate – Jaish al-Islam Receives Formal Sanctuary in Hamas-Ruled Gaza,’ as underscoring the need for Israel to launch a military counter-offensive in Gaza to prevent the further consolidation of terror groups threatening Israel. The report, produced under the auspices of the
· Except for Fatah, the other Palestinian terror organizations in
· In a previous agreement between the two groups, Hamas had given Jaish al-Islam $5 million and more than a million Kalashnikov bullets in compensation for its freeing of
· In surveys presented to the Olmert government in July 2008, the head of the Israel Security Agency, Yuval Diskin, pointed to the strengthening and accelerated arms buildup of Hamas under the cover of the cease-fire agreement with
Statements by senior Israeli government, defense and security establishment figures regarding
· Former Labor Party leader and Defense Minister, Benyamin Ben Eliezer: “I admit and confess I was with those who strongly supported [former prime minister] Ariel Sharon, and today I say with my head held high: We erred, we made a very big mistake
[such a withdrawal can only work when territory is] handed over to responsible hands and anchored in agreements and international guarantees. Here we have a precedent a territory we left turns into a base for terror ? period ?
· Former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Ya’alon: “the unilateral approach that drove the disengagement plan has failed and
· Shin Bet Director Yuval Diskin: “in another two or three years, it will be very difficult to deal with the problem called the Gaza Strip” (Haaretz, March 13, 2007).
· MK Yuval Steinitz (Likud) “The picture being drawn for us is grave I call on the government to launch Operation Defensive Shield II, in the Gaza Strip” (Haaretz, March 13, 2007).
· Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh (Labor): the government made a mistake by withdrawing from the
· MK Yuval Steinitz: the only way to keep
· Maj.-Gen. Dror Almog, OC, IDF’s Southern Command, 2002 -2003): “From a military point of view, there’s no question it was a mistake to leave [the] Philadelphi [corridor]” (Jerusalem Report, November 13, 2006).
· Pensioners Minister Rafi Eitan: “we need to sit on the Philadelphi Corridor for a long period of time” (
· Industry and Trade Minister Eli Yishai:
· Shin Bet chief, Yuval Diskin:
· Current Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman, Tzahi Hanegbi (Kadima) and former Officer Commanding Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Ground Forces, Maj.-Gen. Yiftah Ron-Tal, have acknowledged that last year’s Israeli unilateral withdrawal from
· Col. (ret.) Moti Yogev, Ex-Gaza Division Commander: short-term offensives against Gazan terrorists are ineffective, the IDF must conquer both northern Gaza & the Egypt-Gaza border: “It’s true that in general military activity must be accompanied by negotiations
but in this case, the Qassem rockets are a direct result not only of the terrorists who fire them, but of the wantonness, lack of professionalism and irresponsibility of this government and its ministers ? The government is not implementing the most basic effective measures to fulfill its basic responsibility to protect the citizens of Sderot and the western
· Former Israeli Defense Minister, Moshe Arens: “The security establishment must not forget
that the Qassem [rockets] being fired on
· MK Yuval Steinitz (Likud): “It is clear that our withdrawal from the Philadelphi Corridor and our reliance on the Egyptians has proven to be a failure. The Egyptians are not acting
in reality their behavior has drastically increased the amount of weapons smuggled into
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “The consequences of Israel’s 2005 unilateral retreat from Gaza and in particular its relinquishing of control over the Philadelphi Corridor are becoming plain for all to see more weapons smuggling, consolidation of terrorist groups, more danger for Israel, less security and quiet.
“The ZOA and many seniors in the Israeli defense and security and political establishment has urged repeatedly that
“We again strongly urge the Israeli government to stop ignoring the serious deterioration in security in