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Former Def.Min. Moshe Arens: “Northern Gaza Must be Recaptured”

by Hillel Fendel Arutz Sheva April 25, 2006

“I fear that the government is refraining from sending IDF troops into Gaza to stop the Kassam rockets because it doesn’t want to admit its mistake in withdrawing from Gaza in the first place.”

So said Prof. Moshe Arens today, speaking with Arutz-7′s Uzi Baruch. Prof. Arens served as Defense Minister in four different Israeli governments and Foreign Minister in one.

Arens said that a military ground operation is necessary because the “IDF’s artillery barrage on northern Gaza is totally futile, as the terrorists fire the rockets from densely populated areas while Israel shells empty areas.”

“The security establishment must not forget,” Arens exhorted, “that the Kassams being fired on Ashkelon are being fired from areas that were abandoned as part of the Disengagement. The army must therefore return and conquer these areas, and only in this way will we be able to stop the rockets from being fired at us.”

Arens had tough words to say about the withdrawal and the uprooting of the Jews of Gush Katif and northern Shomron. “To forcibly uproot [nearly 9,000 Jews] from their homes, and to use the IDF to do it, was a barbaric act,” he said.

On the day the Disengagement began last summer, Arens spoke on IsraelNationalRadio and called the disengagement a “self-inflicted wound” and “the biggest internal crisis that Israel has ever faced. It will leave some serious scars behind. It’s going to be very bad, and I’m sorry I can’t be more optimistic.”

Arens is supportive of the appointment of a non-general such as Labor Chairman Amir Peretz to the position of Defense Minister. “It’s truly not good for a Defense Minister to be an army man,” Arens said, “because then he comes with preconceptions that make it hard for him to work.”

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