Top IDF Official: Hamas Could Make Us Close Off Gaza

Government Coordinator in the Territories Brigadier general Yoav Mordechai (2R) speaks with Oded Ravivi (L), head council of Efrat, during a tour expanding the settlement of Efrat in Gush Etzion on January 25, 2015. Photo by Gershon Elinson/Flash90
Government Coordinator in Yehuda, Shomron and Gaza Brig.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai (2nd R.) speaks with Oded Ravivi (L.), head of Efrat regional council, during a tour  in Gush Etzion on January 25, 2015. (Gershon Elinson/Flash90)

In an interview with Palestinian media, Yoav Mordechai, the IDF Coordinator of Government Activities in Yehudah, Shomron and Gaza, warned that Israel could close the passages into and out of Gaza if Hamas continued to use them to try and conduct terror attacks on Israel. The IDF would not stand for it any longer, he told the Al-Quds daily newspaper, and Gazans could find themselves without an Israeli “life raft” if the terror group did not stop.

In remarks reported by Channel Ten, Yoav told the paper that “Hamas constantly tries to use the permits that we issue for workers and others to smuggle material and equipment to Yehudah and Shomron in order to conduct terror attacks against Israeli cities. This will force Israel to think twice about allowing any Gazans in,” he added,

While workers from Gaza no longer enter Israel, thousands of Gazans are in Israel at any one given time for treatment at Israeli hospitals, as well as to visit relatives in Palestinian Authority-controlled areas of Yehudah and Shomron. In addition, Gaza businessmen are often found at the Ashdod port, where cargo bound for Gaza is offloaded from ships and onto trucks headed south.

Responding to those comments, Chief PA negotiator Saeb Erekat said that the Palestinian Authority was nothing more than an Israeli “plot,” and that the “real” head of government of the PA was none other than Mordechai himself. In remarks to PA media as reported by Arutz Sheva, Erekat said that Israel was in control of all of the Jordan Valley and an ever-expanding Area C. In effect, Israel was using the PA to “erase Palestine,” and using Mordechai as the “lever” by which to control the lives of Palestinians.