Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that if the government found it necessary the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) could conquer and rule Gaza. He also praised the IDF for the 2008-9 invasion of Gaza.
Barak added that Israel should not invade the Gaza strip unless it had to but at the same time suggested that parts of the strip might be occupied. Barak was speaking at a meeting of the Fisher Institute. on Operation Cast Lead also known as the Gaza War.
At the same meeting, former IDF chief of staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi said
"Strategic decisions must be taken into consideration in the dialogue between the political and military echelons before a war...the General Staff and its leadership must be there. They should be a central part of discourse."
There is already a "no go" strip along the border. Gazans are not allowed in the area. A considerable amount of farmland is rendered unusable as a result of the zone.
Between September 2005 and the end of 2010 a total of 177 Palestinians have been killed near the fence. Included in those killed were 24 minors and 2 women. At least 38 were civilians not involved in any hostilities. These figures do not include the time of the Gaza invasion.
Israeli officials deny this is a "no-go-zone" where anyone who enters can be fired upon. Yet at the same time in 2010 the army distributed leaflets in Gaza that warned residents that it was forbidden to go within 300 meters of the border fence. Any means including gunfire would be used against anyone who disobeyed the prohibition. Also, an IDF spokesperson said on 28 April 2010:“The area next to the perimeter fence is a combat zone”
The zone is a danger to farmers and residents. The area is not posted as a special security area as it should be. On some occasions residents have been fired upon well beyond the 300 meter zone. The zone actually covers about 17 per cent of the total of the Gaza strip. The Gaza strip is densely populated and the land would be of great value to grow food for the residents.
The last invasion of Gaza(Operation Cast Lead) was during the final days of the Bush administration. Altogether 1,417 Gazans were killed during the war.
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