New IDF Chief Makes No Bones About His Intention to Over-react to Palestinian Demonstrations
In response to Palestinian demonstrations on Israel's borders last month, and the upcoming 2nd Gaza Freedom Flotilla later this month, the IDF's new Chief of Staff Benny Gantz outlined the actions the IDF will take against such demonstrations from here on out:
The spectrum of the threats, in light of the changes in the Middle East, has broadened significantly – from daggers to nuclear weapons. There is a focal player in the Middle East – the street – and it is clear to us that in the coming months we can find ourselves in broad popular demonstrations, which gain public resonance. The IDF is preparing for these demonstrations.
Gantz discussed the implications of the fall of Mubarak in Egypt as well, and addressed security concerns regarding Lebanon and Syria.
For this reason, we will act with great fire power and full force at the very beginning of the confrontation. Anything the camera can stand or could stand in the first three days of fighting – it will not be prepared to put up with thereafter.
Gantz's statements were collaborated by reporting from Ynet News and Electronic Intifada. The full text of the IDF Chief of Staff's statement on the response to mass demonstrations is available in Hebrew and in English.
"Israel, it would seem, like other regimes in the region, knows of no other way to respond to people demonstrating for their legitimate rights than to shoot at them," commented Electronic Intifada. Ynet News reported Gantz as saying that "the next conflict will be brief but intense.
Further Nabka demonstrations are currently being planned in Israel's Arab neighbors.
Paul Mutter is a graduate student at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at NYU and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus.