Israel has a rapidly closing window of opportunity to crush the Hamas military force being established in the Gaza Strip, warned a senior Israel Defense Forces (IDF) officer who spoke to Israel Radio on Thursday.
The officer stressed that Hamas' creation of a full-fledged army and its ultimate goal of destroying Israel had, like southern Lebanon's Hizballah, put it on a collision course with the Jewish state.
“They have the manpower, they have the training, they have the motivation; the principle is creating a balance of deterrence against Israel,” he said.
Hamas is estimated to currently have 13,000 men under arms in Gaza, as well as possessing an arsenal of advanced anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles and an ever-improving stockpile of short-range rockets.
Despite these numbers, the officer said the IDF is capable of scoring a quick and crushing victory against Hamas, but suggested that the diplomatic window for doing so is closing.
“There is today an opportunity since the world has not yet become accustomed to the new Hamas entity.”