My family went to Israel during the summer of 2005. In fact we flew home from Israel the Friday morning before disengagement. During our two-week trip we asked Israelis how the felt about the upcoming give back of Gaza. Most of Israelis I spoke to were for the separation, feeling that it was the first step towards peace. It also seemed to me that many of the people wearing orange (protesting the disengagement) were not even Israelis, but Jews from other countries.
There was one person whose words still haunt me. This old man was sitting in a wheel chair that had an orange ribbon attached to it. I asked him why he was against giving back Gaza. He looked up at me and said, “Do you know what Sunday is?” I answered I knew Sunday was Tisha B’av. He said, “Giving away this land will be added to the list of horrible events that happened to the Jews on Tisha B’av”
Every time I read about another rocket in the Negev, or some other terrorist attack, I see that old man face and hear his words.
In an interview with Arutz Sheva IDF OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant sounds an awfully like that old man in the wheelchair.
IDF Southern Commander Laments Disengagement
18 Adar 5767, 08 March 07 12:55
by Ezra HaLevi and Gil Ronen
(IsraelNN.com) IDF OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant painted a grim picture of post-Disengagement Israel Wednesday.
“Since the Disengagement 2,053 Kassams have been launched at Israel,” the IDF commander told diplomats and foreign reporters at a Jerusalem briefing. “296 explosive charges have been detonated, 143 attacks carried out against tanks that were outside the security fence – not inside Gaza – and there were 260 incidents of gunfire at IDF forces outside of the fence.”
Galant also said that Iran is actually training and outfitting Hamas terrorists to form a guerrilla army. “Boosted by their newfound ability to travel abroad, Hamas militants have been going back and forth to hostile countries for training,” he said. “They are sending them to Syria, Lebanon and Iran. And the opposite [is happening as well]. People from Iran come inspect the situation in the area, give them training and coaching, examine them and see if they hit the target they gave them.”
The IDF commander, who is privy to all of the IDF and Shabak (General Security Services) intelligence information, said Hamas has already been outfitted with elite surveillance units, snipers and explosives experts.
Shabak Chief Yuval Diskin confirmed earlier this week that Hamas terrorists have been receiving training in Iran. Most of them travel to and from Iran via Egypt, whose border with Gaza has remained open or porous ever since Israel’s withdrawal from the Philadelphi Corridor and Rafiah Crossing.
The lack of Israeli presence at the border has allowed for the speedy stockpiling of arms and weapons, Galant added. “Hamas has managed to arm itself by smuggling goods through tunnels across the border with Egypt.”
Galant offered a veiled criticism of Israel’s one-sided cease-fire with Hamas and said the terror group was using the time to stockpile weapons and improve its tactical abilities in preparation for war.
“We have to prepare ourselves for a war situation in the future,” Galant said.