Former general: If Hamas is not destroyed in this operation, Israel has no right to exist

Former IDF Gaza division head Brig. Gen. Shmuel Zakai sets out what he believes the IDF is about to do, and should do, in Gaza.

Speaking on Channel 12 news, he says the horrors and failure of October 7 will be examined with a fine-tooth comb when the war is over. But those events must not undermine faith in the IDF — “the strongest army, with the world’s most advanced equipment.”

“National resilience is a vital condition,” he says.

Shmuel Zakai (GPO)

“The essence [of what the IDF must do] is to achieve a decisive victory that will resonate for the next century in the Middle East and clarify that no army or terror organization captures territory of the State of Israel and slaughters civilians.

“The State of Israel has no right to exist if at the end of this operation Hamas is not destroyed,” he says.

And he says no enemy has been defeated without a ground operation.

Lebanon-based Hezbollah is seeking to distract the IDF’s focus from Gaza and must not be allowed to do so, Zakai says.

The shock onslaught last Saturday “was a strategic event — they slaughtered citizens of the State of Israel.”

And thus, “all our efforts must be focused… on destroying the murderous, indiscriminate terror group — that hit children, women, the elderly, Holocaust survivors… We didn’t come here to establish a state for anyone to think they dared do so… Everyone who did this must be destroyed.”

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