Top Israel Official Warns of Impending War

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JERUSALEM, Israel - Speaking at the graduation ceremony of ground forces officers, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of General Staff Gabi Ashkenazi said war may be just "on the horizon."

"There are dangers to our survival on the horizon and great challenges to Israeli security," Ashkenazi said. "The IDF needs to ensure a rapid victory in any conflict, and I cannot guarantee that we won't need to act in the near future," he said.

The IDF chief of staff has alluded to the possibility of a major incursion into the Gaza Strip on several occasions.

At a conference in December sponsored by the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University, Ashkenazi said defeating terrorists means taking control of the area in which they're operating.

"You cannot defeat a terror organization without eventually taking control of the territory," he said, pointing out that IDF's success in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank).

"The only reason we have been successful in Judea and Samaria is because we control the area," he said.

Sources: The Jerusalem Post, YNet news service

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