Mideast Expert Grinstein: Demilitarizing Gaza 'Not Realistic'

Tuesday, 05 Aug 2014 06:07 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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A proposal by Israel to demilitarize Gaza in a bid to defang the terrorist group Hamas was not a realistic goal, Israeli security advocate Gidi Grinstein says.

"The Israeli demand for the demilitarizing of Gaza was an overreach . . . unless we're taking over Gaza,'' Grinstein said Tuesday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"It's a much bigger decision. Do we want to control Gaza? Other than that, Gaza cannot be demilitarized. Gaza is militarized to its teeth.

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"Demilitarizing Gaza requires going home-to-home, building-to-building and weeding out all these weapons. So that was, to begin with, an unrealistic expectation.''

Grinstein — president and founder of the Reut Institute, a Tel Aviv-based think tank — said Israelis think the fighting in Gaza is not over.

"Eighty percent of the population in Israel does not believe that this is the end of violence around Gaza, which means people expect that there will be another round,'' he said.

"But we have to understand the limitation of our power. Taking Gaza over is like in 'The Little Prince' — the boa constrictor that ate an elephant, [which is] very, very difficult for Israel to digest.

"It seems that right now the message of the military to the public and to the government is we have taken it as far as we can at this phase without an explicit order of the government to take over Gaza.''

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