Press TV has conducted an interview with Jamal Wakim, with the Lebanese International University from Beirut, about Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz saying the Tel Aviv regime has no plan to stop the ongoing aerial and ground military operations in besieged Gaza Strip.
What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV: What do you make of this latest Israeli announcement that perhaps they will be reoccupying Gaza?
Wakim: I believe that it is hard for the Israelis to re-occupy Gaza because it would be a costly objective for them not only to overcome the resistance but also to govern an overpopulated area of 1.7 million Palestinians. So that was the reason why the Israelis withdrew from Gaza almost ten years ago.
So I believe that this is a mere declaration for domestic investment especially that the Israelis are close to elections but I believe that it is unlikely that the Israelis would go and venture on this costly business. We still need to wait and see the developments of the battle going on in Gaza.
Press TV: Do you think it could be a form of psychological warfare that they are putting out these statements in order to try to intimidate the Palestinians?
Wakim: I believe that would be one objective especially that the Palestinian resistance proved to be able to stand to the challenge. They were able to inflict heavy losses on the Israeli military and this explains the massacre that was committed by the Israeli military today in Shijaiyah neighborhood in Gaza.
There are reports of tens of killed and injured Israeli soldiers. This was something that the Israelis did not take into account. They thought that it be would much easier for them so the spearhead of their attack was broken by the Palestinian resistance.
I believe that this depends on the battle going on, on the ground but at the same time I believe that there are some minor defects in the way the Palestinian resistance is leading its political campaign and this might affect negatively the outcome of the conflict.
Press TV: What about the losses that Israel has experienced already though in their latest assault on the Gaza Strip that there are various reports as for as the number of Israeli soldiers who have been killed but definitely a lot more than I am sure that they were expecting?
How much of an effect do you think that that plays on Israel in general and would they be willing to occupy Gaza especially which appears to be they would have to also pay a very high cost with their forces too?
Wakim: I believe that the Israelis did not want to get involved in a ground attack but the capacity of the Palestinian resistance to strike deep inside Israeli territory on one hand and the unwillingness of the Palestinian resistance to abide by the Israeli dicta, this made Israel refer to some of its allies or some of the Arab powers to pressure the Palestinian resistance to accept the terms of Israel but this did not happen.
That is why the Israelis had to attack, to go onto a ground attack and they did not expect to endure these heavy losses so that explains their fierce retaliation by committing massacres but I believe that the Israelis want a political way-out for the entanglement.
I believe that they are facing a serious situation. This is why they accepted the initiative by the Egyptians on one hand which was rejected by the Palestinian resistance and at the same time we see that Abu Mazen, the Palestinian President heading to the [Persian] Gulf to meet with Khaled Meshaal, the leader of Hamas in order to convince him to strike a deal with the Israelis.
But we need to wait and see the position of Hamas on one hand and of other Palestinian resistance groups like Jihad Islamic, like the PFLP (the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine), like the General Command and other Palestinian groups who are also resisting so we cannot just limit the talk to Hamas.