Israeli Shin Bet head, Yuval Diskin, called on Tuesday for reoccupying the Gaza Strip and maintaining permanent Israeli military presence in the coastal region. Diskin claimed that Hamas is using the truce in order to re-arm its military wing. Speaking at the Knesset’s Foreign and Security Committee meeting, Diskin claimed that Hamas is gaining more military power and that the movement managed to obtain “missiles” that could hit areas as far as Ashdod.

He claimed that the best solution is to occupy the Gaza Strip and maintain military presence there.

Diskin also claimed that the “significant decrease of Palestinian attacks in the West Bank happened as a result of the Defensive Shield operation which was carried out in 2002”. He added that the drop in attacks also comes as a result of the Wall and ongoing military presence.

“This is what we should do in Gaza”, he added, “There is no other option, we must be there”.

The Shin Bet head objected to the truce deal with Hamas and claimed that the movement is just using this period of calm in order to re-arm.

Commenting on a possible prisoner swap deal which could be reached with resistance factions who are holding captive the Israeli corporal, Gilad Shalit, Diskin objected to any deal that involves the release of Fateh leader Marwan Barghouthi.