CBNNews.com - TEL AVIV, Israel - Senior Israeli Defense official Major General (res.) Amos Gilad said ties between Hamas and its two proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas, are closer than ever.
Gilad was speaking at a conference on Lebanon at Tel Aviv University.
"One of Israel's biggest mistakes was to allow Hamas to take control over the Gaza Strip in [June] 2007," Gilad told conference participants.
"Hamas's strategic objective is to seize control of the Palestinian Authority [PA] and the Palestinian Liberation Organization [PLO]," the general said.
"This remains Hamas's vision -- to take control over the PA by way of elections, remove [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas and make the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] its base," he said.
According to Gilad, Israel's recent three-week military operation in the Gaza Strip put a kink in the terror group's plans, delaying the takeover until January 2010 "at the earliest."
Gilad said Iran is establishing "Hezbollahstan" in Lebanon, "turning Lebanon into a major threat for Israel because it has Iran's support."
"Iran is determined to pose an existential threat for Israel," Gilad said. "You don't have to be a genius to come to this conclusion. [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad has said so himself," he said.
"The goal is to create a balance of terror. Toward this end, what can be referred to as "Hezbollahstan" is being established in Lebanon. This entity is based on a military wing, which is meant to assist Iran should Israel attack, and a rocket arsenal, which consists of some 40,000 projectiles," he said.
By increasing its influence in the Lebanese parliament, the terror group is furthering its goals.
"Strategically, Hezbollah wants a new Middle East, with Israel as the target," Gilad said.
"We must not allow Iran to obtain nuclear weaponry because this will bolster the 'radical axis,'" he said.
"Regarding Lebanon, I believe Hezbollah is refraining from firing rockets at Israel not because they're deterred but because Iran is counting on them if Israel strikes," the general concluded.
Source: YNet news