Differences have emerged among top Israeli officials over how to handle the war against Hamas in Gaza.


JERUSALEM (AP) — Disagreements are emerging among top Israeli officials over management war against hamas In Gaza. A member of the country’s War Cabinet expressed doubt over the strategy of releasing the hostages, and the country’s Prime Minister rejected calls for the United States to reduce its invasion.

Only a ceasefire agreement can lead to release Dozens of hostages still remain by Islamic militants in Gaza, and claiming that they could be freed by other means is spreading “confusion”, said former army chief Gadi Eisenkot, one of four members of the war cabinet, in his statement during the war. Said in the first public statement.

Eisenkot’s comments late Thursday were the latest sign of disagreement between political and military leaders over the direction of Israel’s attack on Hamas, now in its fourth month.

Sparked by an unprecedented 7 October Hamas attacks Israel The Israeli offensive has destroyed much of the Gaza Strip, home to about 2.3 million people, killing about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking about 250 others hostage. Israel has said that more than 130 hostages remain in Gaza, but not all of them are believed to survive.

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Israel also has Cut off all but a small amount of supplies Including food, water and fuel, into the besieged Gaza Strip. Several dozen trucks carrying vital supplies now enter the area every day, a fraction of the pre-war volume of about 500 trucks. Both the United States and the United Nations have said more aid needs to be provided.

The communications blackout in the area was into its seventh day on Friday, the longest blackout since the war began. Lack of communication hinders aid delivery and coordination of rescue efforts.

The United States, Israel’s closest ally, has provided strong military and political support for the campaign, but has consistently called on Israel to reduce its attacks and Take steps towards the establishment of a Palestinian state After the war – a suggestion that has been roundly rejected by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Speaking during a nationally televised press conference on Thursday, Netanyahu reiterated his past Opposition to two-state solutionArguing that a Palestinian state would become a launchpad for attacks on Israel.

“Israel should have security control over the entire area west of the Jordan River,” Netanyahu said, adding that this conflicts with the idea of ​​sovereignty. what can we do?”

The US has said the internationally recognized Palestinian Authority, which controls semi-autonomous territories in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, should be “revitalized” and returned to Gaza. Hamas removed power from Gaza in 2007.

Washington has also called for steps toward the establishment of a Palestinian state. Palestinians want Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem for their state. Those areas were occupied by Israel in 1967.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Wednesday, Blinken said two-state solution This was the best way to defend Israel, unite moderate Arab countries, and isolate Israel’s arch enemy Iran. He said that without a path to a Palestinian state, Israel “will not have real security.”

At the same conference, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said the kingdom was ready to establish full relations with Israel as part of a larger political settlement. “But this can only happen through peace for the Palestinians, through a Palestinian state,” he said.

A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who heads the Palestinian Authority, said late Thursday that there could be “no security and stability in the region” without a Palestinian state.

Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Galant have said that fighting will continue until Hamas is crushed and have argued that only military action can lead to the release of the hostages.

Hamas is demanding an end to the war before discussing the release of hostages, and has demanded the release of thousands of Palestinians imprisoned by Israel in exchange for those held captive in Gaza.

Netanyahu’s opponents accused him of delaying any discussion on post-war scenarios to avoid imminent investigations into government failures, to keep his coalition intact and to postpone elections. Polls show who is driving Netanyahu’s popularity A trial is underway on corruption chargesDeclined during the war.

Eisenkot, whose son was killed in Gaza in December, told the investigative program “Uvda” on Israel’s Channel 12 television station late Thursday that “the hostages will only be returned alive if there is an agreement, which would mean a significant pause in the fighting.” Will be connected to.” He said a dramatic rescue operation was unlikely because the hostages were apparently spread out, many of them in underground tunnels.

Claiming that the hostages could be freed by any means other than agreement is “illusion,” he said.

In indirect criticism of Netanyahu, Eisenkot also said that strategic decisions about the direction of the war should have been taken immediately, and that discussions about the end game should have begun immediately after the war began.

He also rejected suggestions that the army had dealt a decisive blow against Hamas.

Gallant said troops have neutralized the Hamas command structure in northern Gaza, from which a large number of troops were withdrawn earlier in the week, and the focus is now on the southern half of the territory.

“We have not yet reached a strategic milestone, or rather, only partially,” Eisenkot said. “We did not topple Hamas.”

The former army chief said he was examining every day whether he should remain in the war cabinet, which includes Netanyahu, Gallant and former Defense Minister Benny Gantz. Eisenkot is a member of parliament in the opposition National Unity coalition led by Gantz. Both joined with Netanyahu to help lead the war.

When Eisenkot was asked at what point he would step down, he said, “I know what my red line is.” “It’s about the hostages, it’s one of the objectives, but it’s also about the way in which we need to run this war.”

The war has spread across the Middle East, with Iran-backed groups attacking US and Israeli targets. Fighting between Israel and Hezbollah militants in Lebanon threatens to spark an all-out war, and Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen Despite US-led airstrikes, international shipping has continued to be targeted.

Joben reported from Rafah, Gaza Strip, and Marou reported from Beirut.

Copyright 2024 The associated Press, All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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