(JNS.org) Amid the announcement of the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) Operation Protective Edge in response to Hamas rocket attacks, some Israeli government officials are calling on the IDF to retake Gaza, which Israel evacuated in 2005 under former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s controversial disengagement plan.
“The Islamist terror base [in Gaza], with its thousands of rockets pointed at us, didn’t happen by accident. It happened because of our mistakes, pulling out of Gaza and letting Hamas run in the [2006 Palestinian] elections,” Likud MK Ze’ev Elkin, chair of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee said, told Israel’s Channel 2.
In late June, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman advocated a similar position, saying at the time that only a limited operation in Gaza “just strengthens Hamas.”
Meanwhile, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz requested the call-up of 40,000 reserve troops to replace conscripted forces in the West Bank and allow them to be deployed to the Gaza border, the Jerusalem Post reported. On Monday night, the IDF called up 1,500 reserves.