World Bulletin/News Desk
Continued control of the Gaza Strip by Hamas is in Israel's security interests, the Israeli army's top commander for the region said, according to the Ynet news.
It is reported that it was the first time a senior commander had publicly stated an Israeli interest in continued control of the territory by the Islamist group.
Southern Command chief Major General Sami Turgeman told Israel's Channel Two that only Hamas had the power to enforce broad respect for the truce that ended that conflict and limit rocket fire into Israel from the territory.
"What we want is calm and security in the Gaza Strip. Hamas, currently the sovereign power in the territory, has the means and the know-how. I see no alternative to control being exercised by Hamas," Turgeman said.
The general's comments came as Hamas faces mounting economic pressure as a result of an Egyptian crackdown on smuggling through tunnels under the border.
According to the report, Israel media say senior officials are increasingly concerned that the movement's power could collapse, prompting it to resume the armed struggle or lose ground to more radical Islamist groups.Last Mod: 25 Eylül 2013, 12:10