‘How to achieve victory in Gaza?’ Zionist group holds panel to find answers

Three Israeli politicians discussed what could be done against Hamas in Gaza at a panel on Thursday evening.

By David Isaac, World Israel News 

The Zionist organization ImTirtzu (IMTI) held a “If You Want” victory program in the city of Bnei Brak on the evening of August 8. The event featured a panel of speakers discussing the best way to defeat Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Israel has gone several rounds with Hamas and the terror group still remains undefeated.

The panel included Likud MK Maj. Gen. Uzi Dayan, MK Idit Silman and Air Force Col. (res.) Matan Kahana. It was moderated by IMTI Chairman Matan Peleg.

Likud MK Dayan, who spoke first, said he was “quite optimistic” that Israel was winning from a big picture perspective. He noted that Israel, the only democratic nation in the region, is also the only one where its citizens don’t have to worry about “waking up the next morning to find their country dismantled.”

He also noted that Israel is on its way to becoming energy independent and was making great strides technologically. He compared the successful test of the Arrow 3 rocket interceptor to Gaza’s launch of fire balloons as an example.

Knesset Member Idit Silman of the Jewish Home party said that more could be done against Hamas. She said the situation was a war of endless rounds that never ceased. “Now Qatari money is entering every month,” she said, which is going to build Hamas infrastructure and tunnels.

Silman said Israel has not been tough enough and gave as an example the failure to return Israel’s missing in Gaza, like IDF Lt. Hadar Goldin, who was killed in Operation Protective Edge and whose body is being held by Hamas.

Silman said Israel has international law on its side and could, as a result, do much more to bring its missing sons home. She said that since Hamas is breaking international law by holding missing soldiers like Goldin, Israel should demand of international humanitarian organizations that they withhold aid to Gaza.

Silman suggested driving a wedge between Hamas and the average Palestinian mired in poverty in the Gaza Strip and making them understand that Hamas is a burden they can’t afford.

Matan Kahana, who flew sorties to Gaza, described the situation for Israeli Air Force pilots. He said that in a normal situation, the flight to Gaza took about 13 minutes from his base and 13 minutes back with four minutes over the target.

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What in fact happened is that he and his squadron would fly to Gaza, fly in circles for however long it took until the Palestinians at the targets would evacuate their apartments as Hamas hid its military targets among civilians. Kahana said sometimes the civilians wouldn’t leave and so they dropped low-level explosive bombs on the apartment buildings to convince them. Sometimes, he said, even that didn’t work.

Kahana’s conclusion was that the next time Israel goes to war in Gaza it needs to be a lot tougher. He said Israel should only make one phone call. Warn Hamas once that Israel is coming and that’s it, he said.

Before the event began, a moment of silence was held for Dvir Sorek, the Jewish student who was killed by terrorists in Judea and Samaria.

Established in 2006, IMTI describes itself as “Israel’s largest and most influential grassroots Zionist organization” with “20 campus branches, 6,000 volunteer activists and the largest Hebrew-language social media following of any pro-Israel organization.”