Exclusive interview for The Geopost, Israeli Brigadier General Amir Avivi
TheGeopost: Following the terrorist attack of Hamas on 7th October how is situation now in Israel?
We were caught by surprise and we have more than 3,000 terrorists that stormed our towns in the south. It was a massacre of 1,400 civilians and soldiers, mostly civilians and it was very, very brutal scene, I would say since the holocaust, people were burned alive, raped, beheaded children or killed babies and we have 240 people that have been abducted and are hostages in Gaza.
Israel, following that declared a state of war, we haven’t declared a war since Yom Kippur, 50 years ago and I must say that this war is much bigger and much complicated than Yom Kippur.
It took us three days to completely gain control again of the south and kill the terrorists that went into Israel, we killed more than 1,000 terrorists inside Israel and many of them went back to Gaza and following that the government set very clear goals for the war and the goal is to completely destroy Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and all their infrastructure inside the Gaza strip and make sure that they will never be able to build their forces back again.
From the military point of view, this basically means taking over the whole Gaza strip, conquering the whole Gaza strip and then dismantling this entire terrorist infrastructure, this is something that might take many, many months and maybe more than a year and then after all of that, after we kill all the terrorist leaders and terrorists and destroy all the terrorist infrastructure, we have to create a new reality where the IDF is controlling the Egyptian border, we cannot have again a connection between Gaza and Egypt, this is where all the weapons and who knows how many terrorists came in and out and we have to create a new security reality where Israel has the overall responsibility of the security of the Gaza strip which means full freedom of operations for the IDF everywhere and this is what is going to happen … we are focusing now on taking again in control of this area in the north and we are in the process, it’s a whole city, it takes some time to deal with this, but eventually we’ll hold all of the north of Gaza and this won’t be the end, it’s just a beginning. After we finish with that, we are going to attack the central and southern part of Gaza and destroy every single terrorist that is inside Gaza and by the way also the leadership outside Gaza, nobody will be spared, we are not going to forget what they did and we are going to destroy Hamas organization and Palestinian Islamic Jihad completely, we cannot destroy ideology or idea, but we can destroy infrastructure.
TheGeopost: From your experience, where do Hamas and the Palestinians get most of their weapons from?
Most of the weapons are coming through the Sinai Peninsula into Gaza, they are getting them mostly from Iran, smuggling the weapons from Iran to the Sinai Peninsula and from there into Gaza and this is why we need to control this border, we cannot have a reality where endless amount of weapons are coming in from Middle East through the Sinai Peninsula into the Gaza Strip.
TheGeopost: Hamas attacks began on October 7, when Russian President Vladimir Putin also celebrates his birthday. It was described by many analysts as “Hamas’ best gift to Putin”. How much did this war help Putin?
For a long time in the past, Putin had good relations with Israel, unfortunately this changed a lot since the Ukrainian war and Putin has built an alliance with Iran, this is a bad news, this Russian-Iranian alliance is very bad news for the Middle East and for Israel.
TheGeopost: Is the western world helping you enough in this war against these terrorists?
What we are witnessing is not a local war between Israel and Hamas, it’s a regional and global war, it’s a war between the west, western values, Judea-Christian values and between a Russian-Iranian front backed up by the Chinese economy that has emerged, we are talking about very radical elements, all this is led by Shia Iran.
Iran is a global threat and I think there is a growing understanding in the west that there is a need to deal with Iran and its proxies and I’m hoping that after we win decidedly against Hamas, there will be a coalition that will deal with Iran and proxies like Hezbollah and the Houthis in the Yemen.
TheGeopost: How do you see the ending of this war?
It’s going to be a long war, just talking about Gaza, it’s going to take many, many months and maybe more, but I’m not sure the war will end with Gaza, there is a good chance that it will expand also to the north and maybe also to other fronts, so I would say that in the coming year probably we are going to be in war.