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Israeli finance minister believes major Gaza ground operation is unavoidable

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich attends a press conference at the Ministry of Finance in Jerusalem, May 14, 2023. (Photo: Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich commended Operation Shield and Arrow, Israel’s recent military operation against the Gaza-based terror group Islamic Jihad, affirming that it strong message to Iran and other terror organizations, such as Hamas.

"It was a very good operation, it sent a clear message to Hamas and the Iranians about our capabilities and our deterrence against attempts to raise our heads. I think there is a paradigm shift. This is a message to all those who deal with us in the region," Smotrich said.

"The IDF managed to hit the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization hard over the past five days, inflicting more damage than in the previous operation," added the finance minister.

However, Smotrich also said Israel Defense Forces operations are merely managing, rather than solving, the Jewish state’s long-term security challenges.

"We have not solved all the problems," said Smotrich, who believes that Israel’s withdrawal of Jewish communities in Gaza in 2005 was a strategic security mistake that enabled Hamas to establish a terror regime in the coastal enclave.

Looking toward the future, Smotrich said he believes that Israel will eventually be forced to launch a major military ground operation in order to dismantle the terror infrastructure in Gaza.

"We will have to get to the root of the problem. In my opinion, we will eventually have to dismantle Gaza and disarm it.”

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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