Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak is said to be backing down from his support for an autumn attack on Iran, but is he just going to substitute Gaza? It’s an open question today after Barak openly discussed the idea of attacking.
“If the cabinet deems it needed, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) can conquer and rule Gaza,” Barak insisted, praising the military for the 2008-2009 invasion of Gaza though saying he believes the war could have ended 10 days earlier.
Barak, who also claimed it was important to not go to war “unless we have to,” raised the possibility of deciding to reoccupy portions of the tiny, densely populated strip in the future. Israel has already made a significant perimeter of the strip a “no-go” area for Gaza civilians, rendering a large amount of farmland unusable.
The last Gaza invasion was done in the final days of the Bush Administration, as the lame duck president cheered the war internationally and incoming president Obama remained entirely silent on the matter. 1,417 Gazans, the vast majority of them civilians, were killed in the war.