Amos Gilad, the director of the Political-Military Affairs Bureau at Israel's Defense Ministry, on Wednesday ruled out the possibility that Hamas would start another war with Israel in the foreseeable future.
Speaking at a conference at Hebrew University which dealt with the economic aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Gilad estimated that a war will not happen anytime soon.
“The summer will be hot only because of the high temperatures. Our deterrent is still very effective, and Hamas will not attack us because it fears for itself,” he said.
“I do want to warn, however, that the real threat from Hamas lies in its central ideology that agreements with Israel have no place. Contrary to the illusions, they never change their policies, they are faithful to their ways and they have patience, they are willing to wait. Hamas is not willing to adopt any principle which recognizes true coexistence and peace, and Israel's power stems from the deterrence,” continued Gilad.
He further noted that “Hamas is a hostile authority, but Israeli policy is clear: Until Hamas is removed from Gaza, there will not be prosperity. Gaza has talented people, Gaza could have been a gem, but as long as they are the enemy – this is the situation and it will get worse if they go into Judea and Samaria. Israel's policy is clear and that is to help the Palestinian population as much as possible.”
“The situation in Gaza is difficult,” said Gilad, “but Israel will assist with economic measures whose common denominator is anchored in a clear policy – to help as much as possible and not allow a collapse. I'm hoping that Hamas will not be there so that there is a future for the Palestinians. Under Hamas there cannot be.”
Speaking at the same conference, Hisham Abdel Razek, a former Palestinian Authority Minister of Prisoner Affairs, said that the Israeli government is not interested in resolving the conflict.
“It is clear that the present policy will not result in a solution; without cooperation between the two sides, despite the challenges, there will not be a solution. The present policy is a policy of despair that brings only bad things and which can only continue the conflict. The negotiations which began in 1993 and finished with Oslo were destroyed because of errors on both sides, but we must follow a path that aims to give hope to both peoples,” he said.