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Shabak Security Chief Diskin: 'Hundreds Of Hamas Terrorists Are Training In Iran'

'Hamas & Hezbollah Now View Islamist Movement In Israel As Sister Movement Also Bent On Destruction of Jewish State'

Shabak Chief Yuval Diskin

Shabak Security Chief Yuval Diskin presented a grim picture when he briefed the Knesset Foreign & Affairs Committee. Diskin disclosed that hundreds of Hamas terrorists are now undergoing 'extended training in Iran'. 

The security chief also reported on the growing strategic threat posed by Hamas and other groups in the Gaza Strip. Moreover, he  issued a warning about tens of thousands of Israeli Arabs who are members of the Islamist Movement inside Israel. Knesset Member Effy Eitam of the National Union, a retired combat officer, told  IsraCast that many MKs were alarmed by the revelations saying that Israel must take action against the looming threat from Gaza.

Hundreds of Hamas terrorist are now receiving intensive training in Iran. Shabak security chief left no doubt they would soon be sent back to the Gaza Strip to lead a round of terrorism against Israel. Record quantities of weapons and explosives were also being smuggled into Gaza from Egyptian controlled Sinai. All types and sizes of weapons are involved. Knesset Member Effy Eitam later said that this included rockets with a range of some twenty kilometers that could terrorize more Israeli towns and villages in the Negev area. At the closed door session, Diskin left no doubt that the Egyptians are doing little to stem the arms smuggling and that if it continues ' the Gaza Strip will pose a greater threat to Israel then did Hezbollah in southern Lebanon before last summer's  war. Eitam and several other right wing MKs demanded that Israel launch a preemptive strike into Gaza before it is too late.

On another issue, Diskin slammed the extreme Islamist movement inside Israel that is supported by tens of thousands of Israeli Arabs. He said ' Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon now view the Israeli Islamist organization in Israel as a sister movement which is also bent on Israel's destruction.

Interview with MK Effy Eitam

Q : Knesset Member Effy Eitam, you are also a Brigadier General, a senior Israeli combat officer in the reserves. How serious is this growing threat of the terrorists in Gaza to Israel today?

A: It is very serious. According to the assessment of the chief of the Security Organization System in Israel, it is very clear that the speed and the intensity and the scale of weapons, missiles and demolition charges, which are - I won't even call it smuggled - they are flooding the Gaza area, that will represent in a very short time a threat which is much more serious even than what witnessed in the north during the last summer, in Lebanon. It must also be very clear that the Sinai desert, the Sinai Peninsula, became the logistic support and the logistic backing of all this terror. Huge amount of weapons are smuggled into Sinai by Al Qaeda and the others.

Q: But the Egyptians are supposed to be working against the smuggling, stopping the smuggling. It is their territory.

A: Unfortunately they are not following what have been agreed with them during the negotiations as far as the future of Gaza is concerned. They do nothing. They are quite efficient as far as threats which are coming into Egypt, but they are very, I will say useless, as far as dealing with the problems which are focused towards Israel and the Israeli border.

Q: Will this build-up pose a strategic threat to Israel, say, within another two years?

A: No doubt. Beyond any shade of doubt. If we are witnessing how fast and intensive the re-build of the Hezbollah forces in the north, and how fast the build-up of the forces of terror in the south, Israel will be blockaded by terror which is equipped with long distance missiles. That will be used in both sides of Israel as a long arm of Iran, and will be used to try and retaliate if Israel will take any action against the nuclear project in Iran.

Q: One final question on the Islamic Movement here in Israel. Is that also posing a threat to the Jewish state?

A: Yes. I think it is really a growing threat which we, as usual, try to ignore and turn our back towards. But it is very clear that the ideology and the strategic goals of this movement are very much the same as Hezbollah and Hamas and Islamic Jihad represent. Here it is even more complicated, because those Arabs are Israeli citizens, and we are willing much harder to deal with that problem. But if that will not be stopped, there will be enormous crisis in the very delicate and very sensitive structure of life between Jews and Arabs in Israel.

Q: And Hamas and Hezbollah view the northern branch of the Islamic Movement as a "sister movement"?

A: Yes. I quote here the Chief of Security Department, and he made it very clear that for them, the Israeli Islamic Movement is a "sister movement". In other words, it is the same ideology, the same goals, and there is already a very broad cooperation between the two sides of the border.

Transcript by Dar Translations
972-2-6414722 | dar_doc@smile.net.il


David Essing

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