Ha'aretz, January 9, 2009 (interview excerpts) - Is the idea that Egypt will now take a more active role in stopping the smuggling?
This must be stopped by Israel or someone else. In six months, Hamas has changed the range of the missiles from 20 kilometers to 50 kilometers. This now threatens 1 million Israelis. We used to say it was just the southern part of Israel but . . . now parts in the center of Israel are under threat. We needed to give an answer to their rearmament. . . .
We need to know that at the end of this military operation, we will not face the rearmament of Hamas.
Is Iran behind it all?
Oh, yes, clearly. We know that. When they started, the missiles were homemade -- made in the Gaza Strip. But not anymore. Now they are professional, coming from Iran.
Are you still in favor of an international monitoring group to help control the borders of Gaza -- especially its border with Egypt?
I am not against the participation of the international community, but it doesn't replace our need to fight terrorism. And sometimes, when you have monitoring forces within a place, it makes it more difficult for us to defend ourselves, because the last thing we want is to kill people by mistake. . . .
Israel is not going to show restraint anymore. . . . it is not a missile against a missile. We are going to attack strongly if they continue.
It must have been a difficult decision to send Israeli troops into Gaza by land?
Yes, it was a very difficult decision, but right now it looks good.