By D. Bender
Allowing Hamas to open a Gaza seaport would only serve to allow Iran direct access to rearm the Islamic terror group, the former chief of the Israeli Navy told Israeli Army radio Sunday.
“Let’s say an Iranian ship docked at Gaza Port for a visit. We know that Iranian military vessels smuggle munitions nearly every time they hoist anchor. But, because this is a military craft, we can’t inspect it,” Vice Admiral (Ret.) Eliezer Marom, stressed.
“And thus, without even noticing, we’ve established an Iranian port two hours away from Ashdod,” Marom said, and pointed out that, “Israel security doctrine is that we are responsible for security on all crossings…”
“The security challenge would be immense, and it would be very difficult for us to keep an eye on things,” he said.
However, Hamas representatives to indirect talks with Israel in Cairo over extending a cease-fire set to end at midnight Monday night, demanded a seaport, “or the talks were off,” Army radio reported.
Noting that the issue of securing such a port has been in discussion for two decades, Marom pointed out that he was in the original team that was tasked with offering the government solutions to the thorny issue, but said at the time that “we had very few answers.”
Also on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told cabinet members that “security needs of the State of Israel,” were paramount for representatives at indirect talks with Hamas in Cairo.
“Only if there is a clear response to our security needs will we agree to reach understandings. In the past month Hamas has taken a severe military blow,” the PM said.
“We destroyed its network of tunnels that it took years to dig. We intercepted the rockets that it had massed in order to carry out thousands of deadly strikes against the Israeli home front. And we foiled the terrorist attacks that it tried to perpetrate against Israeli civilians – by land, sea and air,” according to Netanyahu.
CLICK HERE to watch a recent interview with Marom, in which he discusses Israel’s chief maritime threats, including from underwater vehicles.