Yoav Galant - Nir Kafri - 5.12.2011
Yoav Galant speaking at Tel Aviv University, Dec. 5, 2011. Photo by Nir Kafri
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Israel's neglect of terrorist activity in the Gaza Strip will eventually necessitate significant military action in the coastal enclave, a former top Israel Defense Forces officer said on Monday.

Speaking at Tel Aviv university, Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yoav Galant said that Israel's decisive action against terror infrastructures in the West Bank has caused terror levels to "drop to zero," while Gaza militants were allowed to thrive.

"A lack of treatment a, quote unquote, negligence of the military side has have meant that while in the West Bank we took care to tend to the lawn, in Gaza, since we didn't, thorns had grown into tree trunks, and, in the end, we'll have to go in there with bulldozers," Galant said.

Galant, who was at one time a leading candidate for the position of IDF chief of staff, added that the Gaza Strip seemed like "something belonging to the Islamic bloc. That's a reality no one knows how to solve."

Regarding ongoing attempts by Hamas and Fatah to reach a Palestinian unity government, Galant said that differences between the rival factions could not "be resolved with words," adding that the split posed a "challenge" for Israel.

Earlier Monday, Palestinian sources told Haaretz that Iran applied intense pressure in an effort to prevent the militant group from moving its headquarters from Damascus, even threatening to cut off funding to the organization's funds.

The Iranian pressure also included an unprecedented ultimatum - namely, an explicit threat to stop supplying Hamas with arms and suspend the training of its military activists.

According to the sources, Hamas is abandoning its headquarters in Syria and looking at other Arab states as an alternative location for its political command center. Hamas' move comes despite intense Iranian pressure on the organization to refrain from relocating.

Read this article in Hebrew: יואב גלנט: נצטרך להיכנס לעזה עם בולדוזרים