YAAKOV AMIDROR: RADICAL ISLAM, HAMAS, IRAN’S NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND THE WAR AGAINST ISIS

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The ex-National Security Advisor of Israel and retired Major General, Yaakov Amidror, has shared his thoughts and expectations about the situation in the Middle East, Iran and  ISIS with a group of journalists in Athens, Greece.

He said that nobody could predict the future of the Middle East, since chaos has prevailed, and continuous war and conflict tear any hopes for peace and stability apart.

According to Amidror, extremism and radical Islam will be further enhanced in some areas of the Middle East, and the only way to deal with the ISIS is by destroying the organization on the ground with land forces.

A typical example of the strength that radical Islam has gained in recent years in the Middle East is the Muslim Brotherhood, which maintains significant influence even in Palestine, even though Mohamed Morsi is not in power any more.

Regarding the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, Amidror said that there is no way to stop the advance of Hamas in regions of the West Bank. If the Israeli Defence Forces retreat from the West Bank, it is possible that elements of Hamas might make their appearance in Ramallah.

The retired Major General was adamant that Israel will not allow ISIS to gain ground in the West Bank, although, as he mentioned, ISIS members have already approached the Gaza Strip using the tunnels built by Hamas.

Regarding Iran’s nuclear programme, Amidror believes that Tehran truly wants to obtain nuclear weapons. If Iran succeeds, the region will not be the same, since Tehran will try to put pressure on neighboring countries, use blackmail tactics and even try to control oil prices.

He believes that another major threat for the Middle East is the increase of Sunni extremism after a possible agreement between the U.S. and Iran about Tehran’s nuclear programme.

He also mentioned the danger posed by ISIS infiltration in Europe through illegal immigrants, who cross the Mediterranean and Aegean Sea from Libya and Turkey. Although there is no direct threat from ISIS in Europe, he believes that these illegal immigrants, who travel to Europe trying to escape from ISIS, could eventually become the new generation of terrorists.

He finished by saying that the war against the ISIS could not be concluded successfully unless the extremist organization was destroyed by ground forces.

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