It is not within Israel's ability to govern Gaza, the IDF's Southern District Commander, Sami Turgeman, asserted at the ICT's 15th International Conference on Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya on Monday.
According to Turgeman, "Hamas is an enemy and aims to put an end to Israel's existence" and that it would be in Israel's benefit to see it replaced, though Israel itself does not have the ability to take control of Gaza.
Israel's two main goals with regard to Gaza, Turgeman asserted, should be averting a humanitarian crisis – especially in the wake of Operation Protective Edge – as well as"preventing the development of "Jihadist groups" there.
"We see what is going on around us and we have no interest in organizations like Islamic State," Turgeman stated, adding that Israel's third interest should be "preventing chaos in the government."
"For the foreseeable future, Gaza's leadership should worry about the 47% unemployment in the area," Turgeman argued. "Gaza is a very daunting task. There must be a broad international effort to deal with the problems."
Turgeman also addressed the threat of three major Hamas leaders – Ismail Haniyeh, Khaled Mashaal and Mohammed Deif.
According to Turgeman, Haniyeh is mostly interested in maintaining control in Gaza while Mashaal is concerned with gaining international support for the Palestinian cause as well as expanding the organization in Judea and Samaria.
Deif also poses a great threat, said Turgeman, noting the arch-terrorist "represents the resistance of Hamas and is spending most of his efforts in underground fighting."
"The [last] operation opened and deepened rifts among the leadership. The dominance of the military wing increased, but this points to problems, particularly in that they ended the campaign without any achievements," he added.
Other problems Hamas is facing, Turgeman asserted, are the Salafist groups growing in power in Gaza as well Hamas attempts to keep channels open with all allies as it prepares for another war with Israel.
"Our job is to prepare for it," Turgeman stressed.