IDF could have conquered Gaza in days, says ex-NSC official

The army’s attack plans in Gaza were predictable, says a newly retired defense official in the National Security Council, adding that the IDF could have taken Gaza in a matter of days.

“I am stating unequivocally, and not just based on my military experience as a colonel, but in general, that there is a military option, and that the IDF is capable, if it wants and if it is so ordered, to take over – not conquer, but take over – Gaza in two days and to conquer it, in its entirety, in seven days,” Col. (res) Roni Bert, a former department head at the National Security Council, tells Channel 10’s Moav Vardi.

Israeli Merkava tanks drive near the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip as they return from the Hamas-controlled Palestinian coastal enclave on August 5, 2014, after Israel announced that all of its troops had withdrawn from the Gaza Strip. (photo credit: AFP/THOMAS COEX)
Israeli Merkava tanks drive near the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip as they return from the Hamas-controlled Palestinian coastal enclave on August 5, 2014, after Israel announced that all of its troops had withdrawn from the Gaza Strip. (photo credit: AFP/Thomas Coex)

Bert, who is highly critical of the way the NSC allegedly caters to what the prime minister wants to hear, says that the army has operated in the same manner ever since the Second Lebanon War: days of airstrikes followed by a limited ground invasion.

“It should be clear to every citizen, even if he is not an expert, that if the enemy has been waiting for us for 10 days [for a ground incursion], the enemy is more ready.”

He adds that had the army stormed into Gaza on Day One, “there presumably would have been fewer losses when first engaging the enemy.”

That option, though, he says, “was never discussed at the top.”

For a full (Hebrew) transcript of the interview, see here: http://drucker10.net/?p=2352

Mitch Ginsburg

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