Chief of Staff: “Hamas unconcerned that the area is heating up”

IDF (Zahal) Spokesperson

Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi participated in a Knesset meeting of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and referred to recent events in Gaza and the Iranian nuclear issue

Date: 23/03/2010, 8:39 PM    

The Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, participated on Tuesday in a Knesset meeting of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and referred to the Iranian nuclear issue. He said, “If someone thought there would be a weakening of the Islamic Republic countries because of internal disturbance – it didn’t happen. That is not what will accelerate and stop its nuclear program.”

The Chief of the General Staff added that he “hopes the international community will impose trilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic: through the United Nations, the European Union and bilaterally. The Iranians are continuing their nuclear program and I hope that the trilateral sanctions will be effective.”

With regard to the northern region, the Chief of the General Staff said that “Hezbollah continues to grow stronger and increase their forces north of Litani. The border continues to be quiet, but everything can change in the future.”

Speaking about Hamas Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi said that, “Hamas is not interested in losing control of the situation, but it could do more to stop rocket fire,” He explained that “the IDF (Zahal) retaliates against Hamas targets because we regard them as the sovereign group in Gaza.”

Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi additionally presented the events of the critical incident that took place on Monday on the Gaza border, which killed an IDF (Zahal) soldier Staff Sergeant Gavriel Chepitch and said that “Hamas is unconcerned that the area is heating up, because they have control over the firing of rockets including control over other organizations.”