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Former Mossad chief Yossi Cohen: No need to rush ground incursion in Gaza

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Former Mossad chief Yossi Cohen on Monday evening commented on the delay in the start of the ground incursion in Gaza, saying that it is good for the move to be carried out with full and optimal preparedness.

“I don’t get the impression that there is a delay, and I have argued in every forum in which I have appeared that we should allow ourselves the maximum time to enable maximum readiness. We should not rush. There is no delay here. The siege of Gaza is critical and essential and, before entering an area so saturated with potential surprises, the intelligence should also be up-to-date. As soon as the IDF is called upon, it will be ready with all its might,” Cohen said in an interview with Channel 12 News.

He added, “I am convinced that the government is not afraid of ground military action. There is a built-in and difficult tension here: Because on the one hand, we say – get ready – and the army continues to prepare by all means. On the other hand, some opportunities cannot be given up for the release of hostages. The decisions on these issues will have to be made daily.”

To the question about the lack of trust between the political echelon and the IDF, he replied, “In my opinion, it is not true and I had a different impression. I also came into contact with those who are in touch with the families of the hostages, both with Gal Hirsch’s headquarters and with the political echelon. I have not heard that side A lacks confidence in side B.”

Cohen estimated that a report stating that Hamas is willing to release 50 hostages with dual citizenship is not true. “I am not aware of the State of Israel discussing at all such a distinction for the release of holders of foreign passports. The State of Israel right now – and at any given moment since the magnitude of the disaster and the number of abductees to the Gaza Strip became known – is making an extraordinary effort to bring everyone home.”