Israel is considering a longer war and its aim is to liquidate Hamas as an organization, said chairman of the Riigikogu's Foreign Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson (Reform) on Monday, during a visit to Jerusalem.
Mihkelson, who is on an official visit to the country along with his counterparts from Latvia and Lithuania, said he visited the Israeli parliament's opening session today and needed to go to its safe room after rockets were launched at the city.
"When we were in the security room, we could hear quite well how Israel's famous Iron Done [air defense system] works. These explosions were heard almost directly above the parliament. It was pretty hectic here today in that respect," Mihkelson said.
The MP said it is understood in Israel that this is a historic turning point in the country's history. They are convinced that Hamas cannot continue to exist in its current form.
"Everybody here is saying that this war is going to be very difficult, probably longer than expected. And its aim is, first and foremost, to liquidate Hamas as an organization," Mihkelson said.
At the same time, he said, Israel's goal is also to create the opportunity for Palestinians in Gaza to live in peace on their territory and to develop their environment in the future.
Mihkelson stressed that Israel has the right to self-defense and the right to organize a military operation that eliminates threats. He said Hamas has been used by Russia and Iran to "inflame tensions" and, in this case, "provoke a new war in the Middle East."
Editor: Helen Wright
Source: Interview by Grete Lõbu