Gazakrieg: „Keine Bananenrepublik“ Israel, Ratschläge von allen Seiten zwischen US- Wahlkampf, Counterinsurgency und Globalen Korridoren

Gazakrieg: „Keine Bananenrepublik“ Israel, Ratschläge von allen Seiten zwischen US- Wahlkampf, Counterinsurgency und Globalen Korridoren

Die Lage spitzt sich ja zu. Netanjahu will baldmöglichst die Rafah-Offensive beginnen, Biden will das nicht, Chuck Schumer fordert Neuwahlen und Waffenstillstand zu Ramadan, Proteste gegen Netanjahu in Israel, auch mit Forderung nach Neuwahlen, die Fatah stellt sich offen gegen die Hamas und erklärt sie verantwortlich für eine „neue Nakba“, Teile der IDF drohen mit Militärschlag gegen Hisbollah, laut Meinungsumfragen die Mehrheit der Israelis auch, wohl auch diese vor einem Eingreifen in den Gazakrieg abzuschrecken. Zum einen spielt sich auch der Kampfzwischen Fatah und Hamas zu, hofft erstere doch noch eine Post-Gaza-Kriegsregierung auf dem Weg zu einer Zweistaatenlösung werden zu können.

„Fatah says Hamas is responsible for Palestinians‘ current ‚Nakba‘

Rival faction accuses Hamas of bringing upon a ‘worst catastrophe than 1948,’ pointing out the bloody 2007 coup and wondering if Hamas would be interested in appointing a Prime Minister from Iran.

By OHAD MERLINMARCH 16, 2024 21:59Updated: MARCH 17, 2024 16:01

Head of Hamas delegation Saleh Arouri and Fatah leader Azzam Ahmad sign a reconciliation deal in Cairo, Egypt, October 12, 2017. (photo credit: REUTERS/AMR ABDALLAH DALSH)
Head of Hamas delegation Saleh Arouri and Fatah leader Azzam Ahmad sign a reconciliation deal in Cairo, Egypt, October 12, 2017.(photo credit: REUTERS/AMR ABDALLAH DALSH)

Marking the first time in which a formal Palestinian voice has blamed Hamas for the disastrous outcomes of the October 7 massacre, Fatah said that “those who were responsible for the return of the occupation to Gaza Strip and caused the Nakba [catastrophe] which our Palestinian people live… have no right to dictate national priorities.”

The accusations came in response to Hamas’s critique of the appointment of new Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa, described as a close partner of President Mahmoud Abbas.

Hamas said this appointment was an “individual decision,” claiming that the PA is “being preoccupied with formal steps devoid of substance,” and arguing that the new Palestinian government would lack national consensus.

Hamas also rejected what they called a “policy of exclusivity and a deepening of division at a pivotal historic moment,” calling for national consensus and unity, as well as the formation of a unified leadership and the holding of “free, democratic elections.”

In its reply published on Friday, Fatah slammed Hamas, demanding: “Did Hamas consult the Palestinian leadership or any Palestinian national party when it made its decision to carry out the ‘adventure’ of last October 7, which led to a catastrophe more horrific and crueler than the Nakba of 1948?

Palestinians parade during celebrations after Hamas said it reached a deal with Palestinian rival Fatah, in Gaza City, October 12, 2017. (credit: REUTERS/SUHAIB SALEM)
Palestinians parade during celebrations after Hamas said it reached a deal with Palestinian rival Fatah, in Gaza City, October 12, 2017. (credit: REUTERS/SUHAIB SALEM)

“And did Hamas consult the Palestinian leadership that is now negotiating with Israel and offering it concessions after concessions, which have no goal other than securing guarantees of personal security for its leadership to receive, and to try to reach an agreement with [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu to maintain its divisive role in Gaza and the Palestinian arena?” it asked.

Fatah and Hamas: A bloody history of rivalry

Fatah also referred to Hamas’s bloody takeover of Gaza in 2007 after winning the election, questioning whether “Hamas consulted anyone when it carried out its black coup against Palestinian national legitimacy in 2007, and refused all initiatives to end the division?”

As for the appointment of Mustafa, Fatah mocked Hamas, saying he “is armed with the national agenda and not with false agendas that have brought nothing but woes to the Palestinian people and have not achieved anything for them,” also asking cynically if Hamas would rather they “appoint a prime minister from Iran, or let Tehran appoint a prime minister for the Palestinians,” pointing at Hamas’s alliance with the Islamic Republic.

The Fatah statement also made a point to refer to the lavish lifestyles led by Hamas leadership in Qatar, noting that “it seems that the comfortable life that this leadership lives in seven-star hotels has blinded it from what is right.”

Fatah also wondered why they and their families fled Gaza and left the Palestinian people to face a “brutal war of extermination” without any protection.

Hamas has shown increased popularity in the Palestinian street, recording major successes in local and student elections. According to a poll conducted by Khalil Shikaki during the temporary ceasefire of December 2023, the terrorist group has enjoyed more popularity since the October 7 massacre.

The poll showed that 57% of respondents in Gaza and 82% in the West Bank believed that Hamas was correct in launching the massacre.“

Ei weiterer Artikel zeigt die möglichen Optionen auf, fragt, ob nachdem die Hamas bisher die Initiative und breite Unterstützung hatte, nun eine Trendwende zugunsten der Fatah erfolgen könnte, zuma deren Verterter neuerdings umgarnt werden, auch seitens Hamasunterstützer ERdigan, der zuletzt Abbas in der Tükeei empfing, ihn als Führer des palästinensischen Kampfes bezeichnete und sich für eine Zweistaatenlösung aussprach, zudem auch türkische Truppen im Gaza als Peacekeeper und Ordnungskraft vorschlug und zeichnet auch verschiedene Optionen auf:

How tensions between Hamas and Fatah could change Gaza – analysis

The Hamas decision to launch the unprecedented massacre of October 7 was an attempt to launch a first strike that could change the region.

By SETH J. FRANTZMAN MARCH 17, 2024 21:12Updated: MARCH 18, 2024

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a news conference following the extraordinary meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul, Turkey (photo credit: REUTERS/OSMAN ORSAL)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a news conference following the extraordinary meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul, Turkey(photo credit: REUTERS/OSMAN ORSAL)

https://trinitymedia.ai/player/trinity-player.php?language=en&pageURL=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.jpost.com%2Fisrael-hamas-war%2Farticle-792411&unitId=2900003088&userId=3c362f45-fc7d-4dca-a934-725748992ae2&isLegacyBrowser=false&isPartitioningSupport=1&version=20240318_dd7dd1e6d0ceec48b4c23536ef4848644537c07b&useBunnyCDN=0&themeId=140&unitType=tts-player

Tensions between Hamas and Fatah, the two largest Palestinian factions, have been growing and becoming more visible. While the two groups have been rivals historically, the Oct. 7 attack led to a focus on Gaza, while the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, where Fatah is strongest, appeared sidelined.

Fatah slammed Hamas on Saturday as “those who were responsible for the return of the occupation to the Gaza Strip and [who] caused the Nakba [catastrophe], which our Palestinian people live, have no right to dictate national priorities.” Meanwhile, Hamas has been criticizing the PA’s new prime minister, Mohammad Mustafa, claiming that his appointment lacks consensus. All of this indicates that there is much more going on beneath the surface.

Hamas’s decision to launch the unprecedented Oct. 7 massacre was an attempt to launch a first strike, a match that could light the region on fire and change the current dynamics. It sought to derail talks of Israel-Saudi normalization and set in motion Iranian-backed attacks from Hezbollah and the Houthis, as well as the Iranian operationalization of its proxy groups in Iraq and Syria.

Hamas was in the driver’s seat, with pretensions that it could rise to the level of a regional power. For instance, it was able to get tacit support from Russia and China in the immediate aftermath of Oct. 7. Hamas is hosted by Doha, a major non-NATO ally of the West, and is also backed by Turkey, a NATO member. This means that over the last five months, Hamas has appeared to be the center of attention. For the Palestinian Authority, this is a potential disaster.

On the one hand, this could lead to an attempted Hamas takeover of the West Bank; Hamas could leverage a hostage deal to gain influence and try to enact a unity government in the West Bank that would allow it to participate in politics. It could, for instance, move the PA to choose a “technocratic” government and then use that as a back door to move back to the territory. It could also play the long game by waiting out the aging Palestinian Authority leadership before swooping in. This would all turn back the clock to an era before Hamas took over Gaza and ejected Fatah and its Gazan leader, Mohammad Dahlan.

 Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas reads a statement during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (not seen) in Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank January 31, 2023. (credit: RONALDO SCHEMIDT/POOL VIA REUTERS)
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas reads a statement during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (not seen) in Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank January 31, 2023. (credit: RONALDO SCHEMIDT/POOL VIA REUTERS)

So far, hundreds of Hamas members in the West Bank have been arrested, with around 800 detained within the first month after Oct. 7. All the while, the Palestinian Authority continues to face challenges to its power, having already lost control of parts of Jenin over the last few years.

This is the context of the current tensions between Hamas and Fatah. Hamas wants to continue to control parts of Gaza and then leverage that to increase its role in the West Bank. With support from anti-Western countries abroad, its leadership thinks it has smooth sailing ahead; all it has to do is wait. It also thinks it might be able to lure over some support from those who had been closer to Fatah over the last decades.

A welcome change to Ramallah

The PA has not been able to rally much support from abroad since Oct. 7, but things are changing. The Mustafa appointment could bring a welcome change to Ramallah. Last Tuesday, Mahmoud Abbas hosted Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly in a meeting described as positive. PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki spoke with his Brazilian counterpart, Mauro Vieira, while Abbas hosted Vieira at his office on Sunday. Brazil has harshly criticized Israel’s war in Gaza since the start. In the realm of foreign affairs, Abbas also spoke with Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on Saturday.

Hamas-Fatah tensions now provide a potential silver lining for Gaza by creating an opening for Gazans to critique Hamas. Human rights activist Ihab Hassan noted that “since Hamas’s bloody coup in Gaza 17 years ago, Hamas has cultivated a narrative that labels any critics as collaborators or as aligning with Israel. This narrative, heavily promoted by Hamas supporters and influencers since the onset of this war, aims to stigmatize and discredit any dissent against Hamas and its reckless policies and wars.”

This opening to criticism comes as Hamas continues to try to control humanitarian aid entering Gaza. Gunmen in Gaza have fired on people trying to get aid over the past few days, while Hamas has sent plainclothes thugs to harass people in the north. Hamas also murdered a clan leader in Gaza in a mafia-like way to send a message to the clans in Gaza not to work with Israel, a message echoed by the Palestinian Authority to its local clans.

There are many balls in the air at the moment, and it is not clear how it will all play out. For instance, the various countries conducting airdrops to Gaza and backing the airdrops, like Jordan, the UK, the US, Germany, Egypt, and the UAE, all have good relations with the PA; the UAE supports the World Central Kitchen maritime corridor and Spanish charity Open Arms. It is unclear how countries interested in the PA returning to Gaza can make that happen.

A day later, Israel discussed the plan, including the idea of humanitarian pockets or bubbles, but provided few practical details. It is not clear who will control these areas. So far, there has been a lot of chaos in northern Gaza, something Hamas feeds off. In southern Gaza, Hamas continues to cling to a bastion in Rafah while also controlling the central camp area. Overall, it still has around 10,000 men. Israel is talking up an operation in Rafah, but there is also a push for a ceasefire; the Rafah operation likely won’t happen for weeks.

The Fatah-Hamas tensions, therefore, come at a unique time, during a new phase in the Gaza war. It remains to be seen if either side will exploit the tensions and seek to do something in Gaza or the West Bank. For now, the Palestinian Authority and Fatah have a chance to take the initiative after five months of Hamas being in the spotlight. 

Hamas and Fatah tensions: The implications for Gaza Palestinians – The Jerusalem Post (jpost.com)

Ob das schon eine Trendwende anzeigt oder eher gilt: „All Hamas has to do is to wait“ aber Netanjahu will nicht abwarten auch wenn ihn die USA, EU und andere Staaten zurückhalten wollen. Wie etwa nun auch der deutsche Bundeskanzler Scholz:

Germany’s Scholz meets PM, calls for hostage deal with ‘longer-lasting ceasefire’

Visiting chancellor says war ‘legitimate’ but Gaza death toll ‘too high,’ backs Palestinian state; Netanyahu says Israel can’t accept peace deal that would leave it ‘weak’

By AFP and TOI STAFF17 March 2024, 10:49 pm

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, left, shakes hands with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during a press conference in Jerusalem, March 17, 2024. (GPO)

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Sunday called for a deal to free hostages held in war-ravaged Gaza accompanied by a “longer-lasting ceasefire,” as warring parties geared up for more talks.

“We need a hostage deal with a longer-lasting ceasefire,” Scholz said during a joint press appearance in Jerusalem alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“We understand the hostage families who say after more than five months, ‘The time has come for a comprehensive hostage deal for saving those who are still captive,’” he said.

Scholz’s visit came the same day Israeli officials were set to meet to discuss the “mandate” of a negotiations team expected to participate in a new round of talks in Qatar aimed at securing a new truce between Israel and Hamas.

Netanyahu is under intense domestic political pressure to secure the release of hostages seized during Hamas’s devastating October 7 onslaught on southern Israel, which started the Gaza war now in its sixth month.

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Hamas-led terrorists rampaged through southern communities on October 7, slaughtering close to 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking 253 captives to Gaza, where more than half remain.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=7rtWKi_CoSw%3Ffeature%3Doembed%26showinfo%3D0%26rel%3D0%26modestbranding%3D1%26enablejsapi%3D1

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry says 31,645 people in the Strip have been killed in the fighting so far, a figure that cannot be independently verified, and includes those killed by the terror groups’ failed rocket launches and some 13,000 Hamas terrorists Israel says it has killed in battle. Israel also says it killed some 1,000 gunmen inside Israel on October 7.

In Jerusalem, on Sunday, Scholz said Israel was fighting for a “legitimate goal,” however, he said that the Palestinian death toll is “extremely high, many would argue, much too high.”

He called for a “negotiated two-state solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying, “Terror cannot be defeated with military means alone.”

Earlier on Sunday, Netanyahu said Israeli troops would pursue a planned ground offensive in southern Gaza’s Rafah that has spurred fears of mass civilian casualties, given that the majority of Gazans have sought refuge there.

Scholz voiced concern about what the offensive would mean for civilians.

“The military logic is one consideration, but there is a humanitarian logic as well. How should more than 1.5 million people be protected? Where should they go?”

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, left, greets Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, before a press conference in Jerusalem, March 17, 2024. (GPO)

In his address, Netanyahu said the two leaders had a ”very serious conversation, an important conversation among friends.”

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“We also agreed that Hamas has to be eliminated,” Netanyahu said, noting that if the terror group is allowed to stay in Gaza, it will “regroup and reconquer and, as they vowed, repeat the [October 7] massacre again and again and again.”

During the meeting, Netanyahu said his German counterpart asked him to do more to protect civilians in Gaza during the ongoing war and to allow more humanitarian aid for Palestinians to enter the Strip.

Netanyahu noted Israel’s efforts to protect civilians while Hamas uses them as human shields, as well as the challenges of distributing aid within the Strip, given the risks of urban warfare.

He stressed that Israeli troops would not go ahead with plans to invade Rafah — which was approved on Friday — without civilians being able to leave.

“Our goal in eliminating the remaining terrorist battalions in Rafah goes hand-in-hand with enabling the civilian population to leave Rafah. It’s not something that we will do while keeping the population locked in place,” he stated.

He added that a potential peace agreement with the Palestinians “that makes Israel so weak and unable to defend itself” would “set peace backward and not forward.”

Netanyahu has repeatedly railed against the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel after October 7 arguing it would be a prize for terrorism, though much of the international community endorses the idea as the only path to peace.

Scholz also met with President Isaac Herzog, who said they agreed that “the prime objective of this war is to bring our hostages back home,” and emphasized the major, destabilizing role of Iran in the conflict.

“It affects all households in the world because of the Houthis disturbance to the high seas and the transportation of goods and services in the Red Sea and the Middle East. Of course, it has to do with our situation, vis-à-vis Lebanon, and predominantly, it’s a war that was waged by the coalition of Iran. And that is why the coalition that objects to Iran must support Israel in achieving full victory,” Herzog said.

In his remarks alongside the president, Scholz acknowledged that the humanitarian situation in Gaza was “improving,” but said more work needed to be done, while reiterating his hope for a time when Palestinians “can regulate themselves.”

Germany’s Scholz meets PM, calls for hostage deal with ‘longer-lasting ceasefire‘ | The Times of Israel

Mehr kann Scholz eigentlich nicht tun. Eigentlich klare Worte, aber Netanjahu wird keinen langanhaltenden Waffenstillstand“ akzeptieren und Deutschland spielt da auch keine wesentliche Rolle.

Ex- NATO- General Domrose meinte auch:

„Den Einfluss von DEU und Scholz halte ich für marginal.“

Der Lackmustest könnte kommen, wenn Netanjahu seine Rafah-Offensive beginnen sollte. Biden fordert da zumindestens einen „Evakuierungsplan“, aber ob er einen Alibiplan akzeptieren würde oder dann das Ganze weiterrauszögern würde mit Kritik an der Machbarkeit des,Plans ? Jedenfalls bleibt die Frage, ob Biden oder Deutschland oder die EU Sanktionen gegen  oder einen Waffenstop an Israel (wobei Deutschland da nicht so die Größe ist) verhängen würde. Einige US-Demokraten weisen ja darauf hin, dass Ronald Reagan dies 1982 während des Libanonkriegs 1982 gegenüber der Begin-Scharon-Regierung tat und keine Clusterbomben und anderes mehr lieferte. Interessanterweise wünschen sich nun einige Demokraten, dass Biden etwas mehr Ronald Reagan sein soll. Donald wartet ja nur auf seine Chance.

Ob Netanjahu die Rafah-Offensive dann nach dem Ramadan beginnt? Er scheint ja entschlossen. Die USA fordern einen Evakuierungsplan für Zivilisten? Ist ein solcher überhaupt machbar? Jedenfalls verbittet sich Netanjahu wie China „Einmischung in innere Angelegenheiten“, vor allem angesichts Chuck Schumers Forderung nach Neuwahlen in Israel, zumal man „keine Bananerepublik“ der USA wie in Mittelamerika sei:

NETANYAHU SAYS IDF WILL OPERATE IN RAFAH ‚CAREFULLY‘

‘We’re not a banana republic’: Netanyahu denounces Schumer’s call for Israeli elections

PM says ‘sister democracy’ should not face calls for leadership change, especially in wartime; asks how world forgot Oct. 7 ‘so quickly,’ slams false claims aimed at ending the war

By LAZAR BERMAN FOLLOW17 March 2024, 6:45 pmUpdated: Today, 2:21 am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a CNN interview, March 17, 2024 (CNN screenshot)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday responded directly and forcefully to criticism from Washington, saying calls last week for elections in Israel from US Sen. Chuck Schumer were “wholly inappropriate.”

“It shouldn’t have been said, it’s wrong,” he said during a “Fox & Friends” interview, echoing comments he also made on CNN.

“It’s wrong to try to replace the elected leaders of a sister democracy, a staunch American ally, at any time, but especially during a time of war,” said Netanyahu.

“I think what he [Schumer] said is totally inappropriate. It’s inappropriate to go to a sister democracy and try to replace the elected leadership there,” said Netanyahu on CNN. “That’s something the Israeli public does on its own. We’re not a banana republic.”

During the interviews, Netanyahu declined to commit to elections following the war against Hamas, saying that it was “ridiculous” to talk about. “That’s for the Israeli people to decide,” he said.

He also argued that elections during the war would be a victory for Hamas, as they would freeze the war for six months.

Last Thursday, Schumer called on Israel to hold new elections, saying he believed Netanyahu had “lost his way” and was an obstacle to peace in the region.

There have also been ample signs of displeasure coming from the Biden administration. US officials told Politico last week that President Joe Biden would consider placing conditions on future military aid to Israel if it moves ahead with a planned offensive against the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah.

Biden has also said an IDF entry into Rafah would be a “red line” for his administration, and repeatedly expresses frustration over the civilian death toll in Gaza and the slow distribution of financial aid.

Responding to Netanyahu’s criticism on Sunday, Schumer said, “It’s a good thing that a serious discussion has now begun about how to ensure Israel’s future security and prosperity once Hamas has been defeated.”

Speaking at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, Netanyahu launched a more oblique critique of Schumer and Biden, saying that those who want to stop the war do so “by making false accusations against the IDF, against the Israeli government and against the prime minister of Israel. They do this by trying to bring about elections now, in the midst of the war.”

Turning to Israel’s “friends in the international community,” Netanyahu asked pointedly: “Is your memory so short? Did you so quickly forget October 7, the most terrible massacre committed against Jews since the Holocaust? Are you ready to deny Israel so quickly the right to defend itself against the monsters of Hamas? Did you lose your moral conscience so quickly?”

Responding to Schumer’s and the Biden Administration’s backing for a Palestinian state, Netanyahu said that would be “the greatest reward for terrorism in history.”

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“Hamas had a de facto Palestinian state in Gaza. And what did they use it for? To massacre Israelis and the worst savagery that was meted on Jews since the Holocaust,” he said on Fox News.

The prime minister also called for international pressure to be placed on Hamas and Iran, rather than Israel.

“No amount of international pressure will stop us from realizing all the goals of the war: eliminating Hamas, releasing all our hostages and ensuring that Gaza will no longer pose a threat against Israel,” insisted Netanyahu.

Palestinians walk at a makeshift market next to building rubble during the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on March 12, 2024 group Hamas. (AFP)

“We must not give in to these pressures, and we will not give in to them,” Netanyahu declared.

He also promised that despite the opposition, the IDF will operate in Rafah — “carefully” — adding that “it will take a few weeks, and it will happen.”

“Those who say that the operation in Rafah will not happen are the same ones who said that we will not enter Gaza, that we will not operate in Shifa, that we will not operate in Khan Younis and that we will not resume fighting after the [weeklong November] ceasefire,” Netanyahu said.

Israel has said Rafah, where four Hamas battalions are deployed, is Hamas’s last remaining major stronghold in the Strip after the IDF operated in the north and center of the Palestinian enclave. It has said an offensive there is necessary to achieve the war’s goals and is not a question of “if” but “when.”

‚We’re not a banana republic‘: Netanyahu denounces Schumer’s call for Israeli elections | The Times of Israel

Nachdem Trump zum Gazakrieg ziemlich still war, so wird er nun wieder lauter, versprciht da auch anscheinend schnelle Lösungen , wenngleich nicht in 24 Stunden wie in der Ikrsine:

Trump bashes Israel’s ties with Democrats, urges ‘quick’ end to war and return to peace

Former president and current Republican candidate says Israel is ‘loyal to a fault’ for continuing to deal with Democrats after Chuck Schumer’s speech calling to replace Netanyahu

By JACOB MAGID FOLLOW17 March 2024, 10:07 pm

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, March 9, 2024, in Rome Georgia. (AP Photo/ Mike Stewart, File)

Former US president and presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Sunday that he would tell Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to finish the war against Hamas in Gaza “quickly and get back to the world of peace” if he won the election in November.

Netanyahu has insisted that Israel is not far from completing the war and would be weeks away from doing so once it completes its still-yet-to-be-launched operation to dismantle the terror group’s remaining battalions in the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

Trump did not go as far as to call for a ceasefire in the Strip, but his remarks in an interview to Fox News are the second time this month that the former president has hinted at discomfort with Israel’s ongoing war against Hamas.

Asked what his message to Netanyahu would be, Trump said, “I think you have to finish it up, and do it quickly and get back to the world of peace.”

Trump said if he were reelected in November, he would end the war between Russia and Ukraine even before being sworn in in January 2025, and would also bring “peace in the Middle East,” recalling his success in brokering the Abraham Accords, which saw the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan agree to normalize ties with Israel.

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In a March 5 Fox interview, Trump said Hamas’s October 7 “attack on Israel, and likewise, Israel’s counterattack… would never have happened if I was president.”

Former president Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attend the Abraham Accords signing ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, September 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

While the remark indicated questionable feelings regarding Israel’s prosecution of the war, Trump added that Israel must “finish the problem.”

Trump and Netanyahu have had a checkered relationship, with the former often indicating that he has never forgiven the Israeli premier for congratulating Joe Biden after he defeated Trump in the 2020 election.

The former president also criticized Jerusalem for seeking to maintain relations with the Democratic Party.

“The Democrats are very bad for Israel. Israel sticks with them. I guess Israel’s loyal — maybe to a fault — because they stick with these guys,” he said in relation to Chuck Schumer’s speech last week in which he called on Israel to hold elections to replace Netanyahu.

“If [Biden] were a supporter of Israel, the Iran nuclear deal would have never been signed, and Israel would have never been attacked,” Trump added, referring to the accord that was signed in 2015 when Biden was vice president.

Returning to Schumer’s remarks, Trump recalled that Israel “lost a lot of people on October 7. People have to remember that.”

US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer speaks on the Senate floor on March 14, 2024. (Video screen capture)

The former president suggested Schumer, who acknowledged the horrors of Hamas’s October 7 attack in his speech, was aware of this, but was more interested in securing more voters.

“He’s seeing the Palestinians and he’s seeing the marches and they are big. Then he says I want to go that way instead of Israel,” Trump suggested. “[He] sees a lot of people protesting out there and they happen to be Palestinians or… from the Middle East. He was probably shocked to see it, and all of a sudden he dumped Israel.”

“He just said essentially that Bibi Netanyahu should take a walk,” Trump added, using the prime minister’s nickname.

Trump bashes Israel’s ties with Democrats, urges ‚quick‘ end to war and return to peace | The Times of Israel

Nun meldet sich der ehemalige US- General und Ex- CIA Chef Petreaus als Ratgeber zu Worte, der zurückblickend seine Erfahrungen seines angelbichen COIN- Counterinsurgency im Irakkrieg 2003, das das des erfolglosen zuvorigen Generals Mc Chrystall ablöste:

With Iraq on his mind, US ‘savior-general’ points at a way to victory in Gaza

Hamas must be destroyed, argues ex-general and CIA director David Petraeus in Tel Aviv, and then Israel must pivot to a counterinsurgency

By LAZAR BERMAN FOLLOW15 March 2024, 11:32 am

Retired US General David H. Petraeus speaks at the INSS conference in Tel Aviv, March 7, 2024 (Ronen Topelberg/INSS)

As the campaign to eliminate Hamas stretches into its sixth month, a storied American general credited with changing the course of the Iraq War now sees a clear path to victory for Israel in Gaza.

Thus far, though, the approach is one that Israel refuses to countenance.

General David H. Petraeus, who commanded the 2007-8 “surge” of troops in Iraq as head of the Multi-National Force-Iraq and later directed the CIA, says Israel must pivot to a counterinsurgency approach if it wants to keep Hamas from returning to power in Gaza.

“This is inescapable,” he told The Times of Israel on the sidelines of last week’s Institute for National Security Studies conference in Tel Aviv.

Insurgency, which became especially prominent after World War II, as local forces fought to overthrow colonial rule against conventional militaries, describes a campaign by “irregular forces to change an existing political order. These forces typically mingle with civilians to hide from the forces defending the political order.”

To defeat an insurgency, Petraeus champions an approach known as counterinsurgency — or COIN. “Population-centric” rather than “enemy-centric,” the strategy focuses on winning over the public to separate them from the insurgents.

In this Oct. 11, 2007 file photo, then-U.S. Commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, left, talks with Iraqi Assal Jassim during his visit at the village of Jadihah northeast of Baghdad, Iraq. (AP/Khalid Mohammed, File)

In COIN, killing the enemy only helps if it increases security for the population to create space to develop legitimate economic and political institutions. But if eliminating insurgents breeds more new fighters than it destroys, then doing so is counterproductive.

When Petraeus took over the Allied effort in Iraq in February 2007, the insurgents seemed to be well on their way to victory. In Baghdad, sectarian violence was killing up to 150 people a day. The outgoing commander, General George Casey, wanted to cut his losses, steadily reducing the US presence and giving the reins to Iraqi forces.

Throughout his 19-month tour, Petraeus managed to drastically change the trajectory of the war.

“You have to get the big ideas right,” Petraeus said.

Moving to a population-centric approach was his big idea. He surged in more than 20,000 troops, and moved soldiers off large bases to operate among and provide security for the population.

Gen. David Petraeus, left, talks about force reductions during an interview with Brit Hume on FOX News on Monday, Sept. 10, 2007 in Washington. (AP/Kevin Wolf)

Before the surge, US Special Forces commander Stanley McChrystal told Petraeus, “Boss, we’ve been banging away every single night in Ramadi and Fallujah, two to three operations a night. And the situation has gotten worse.”

“You’re exactly right,” responded Petraeus, “because you have to clear and hold and build.”

“The foundational concepts of counterinsurgency are that you clear an area, you hold it, and you hold it in a very significant manner,” Petraeus explained in Tel Aviv. “You wall it off. You create gated communities, as we call it,12 or 13 of them in Fallujah alone. You use biometric ID cards because you’re trying to separate the enemy, the extremists, from the people. That’s the fundamental idea.”

Palestinians gather in a street as humanitarian aid is airdropped in Gaza City on March 1, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Hamas terror group. (AFP)

The COIN approach produced undeniable results during Petraeus’s time in Iraq. US deaths dropped from a high of 126 in May 2007 to an average of less than 11 a month after June 2008. Civilian deaths also plummeted, from 1,700 to 200 a month in the same time frame.

For that effort, historian Victor Davis Hanson included him in his book, “Savior Generals: How Five Great Commanders Saved Wars That Were Lost — From Ancient Greece to Iraq. ”

American soldiers at a base complex in Iraq, December 29, 2014. (AFP/ALI AL-SAADI)

Petraeus wants to see Israel move toward that strategy in Gaza.

But first, he says unequivocally, Hamas must be defeated.

They have to be destroyed, just as we had to destroy the core al Qaeda.

“Hamas is irreconcilable,” he said. “This is a very, very fundamental idea. Some will debate it. I think it is not debatable. I think they are the equivalent of al Qaeda or the Islamic State.”

“They have to be destroyed, just as we had to destroy the core al Qaeda and how we helped the Iraqi security forces and the Syrian Democratic Forces destroy the Islamic State,” he said.

An undated photo of fighters from al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria, the al-Nusra Front, marching toward the northern village of al-Ais in Aleppo province. (Al-Nusra Front via AP)

For now, with IDF troops still involved in heavy fighting in Khan Younis, and yet to tackle Rafah, Petraeus recognized that the campaign is still a classic unit-on-unit fight.

But Petraeus, like many friends of Israel, is worried about what will happen in Gaza after Hamas’s military structure is blasted apart.

“When you have destroyed Hamas as a military organization, there will still be remnants, there’s still individual terrorists, insurgents, extremists, call them what you will.”

Secured, gated neighborhoods

In February, Hamas began to resurface in areas where Israel withdrew the bulk of its forces a month before, deploying police officers and making partial salary payments to some of its civil servants in Gaza City. Thousands of Hamas terrorists remain in northern Gaza, and the IDF has had to return to neighborhoods it captured previously.

Masked and armed members of the “People’s Protection Committees,” formed by Hamas and other terror groups, patrol the streets of Gaza’s southern city of Rafah on March 6, 2024. (Said Khatib/AFP)

Petraeus called for secured, gated neighborhoods, where locals provide basic services: “It’s to keep them from having Hamas reinfiltrate themselves into their communities, which at this point they presumably no longer want, especially once they get basic services.”

A Palestinian poll from late November and early December showed Hamas enjoying 42 percent support in Gaza, up slightly from 38% three months before.

A major drawback of the COIN approach, especially for Israel, is that it is manpower- and time-intensive.

In “The Western Way of War,” a work that influenced Petraeus’s thinking as a young man, the historian Hanson argued that because ancient Greek hoplites were also farmers, they sought short, bloody, and decisive engagements to get back to the harvest. This shaped, in Hanson’s thinking, how the West approaches war.

It is an apt description of Israel’s classic doctrine, which seeks to win as decisively and quickly as possible to allow its reservists to return to their jobs.

Israel could theoretically surge back in tens of thousands of troops by recalling the reservists who fought in the months after October 7. But they were released for a reason — they have jobs and studies to get back to, not to mention the strain long reserve services places on young families.

Petraeus recognizes the challenges.

“It takes a very substantial number of forces to do the hold, to conduct hold operations,” he acknowledged. “But if those aren’t conducted, then you end up with the enemy reconstituting.”

Not all US experts see the counterinsurgency model as relevant to the current fight in Gaza.

“You don’t fight a counterinsurgency against an enemy army,” argued John Spencer, chair of Urban Warfare Studies at the Modern War Institute in the prestigious US military academy West Point.

“You fight a war against an enemy army. Yes, Hamas is a designated terrorist organization, but Hamas was also a political group with a military that owned terrain. Hamas was a military organization that sent over a brigade force to invade Israel. Israel declared war.”

Earlier in his trip, Petraeus had been invited by Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and ministry director-general Eyal Zamir for a long conversation on the war. Petraeus was impressed by the discussion.

“They recognize that reconstitution is the challenge,” he said. “They understand these dynamics.”

However, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been reticent to lay out detailed plans for the post-Hamas future of Gaza, fearing this could lead to fractures in his hard-right coalition.

In mid-February, he presented to the cabinet a plan that calls for installing “local officials” unaffiliated with terrorists to administer services in the Strip instead of Hamas, for Egyptian cooperation to end smuggling into Gaza, for Arab countries to fund reconstruction of the Strip, and for the shuttering of UNRWA.

It also calls for Gaza to be demilitarized and for its population to be “de-radicalized.”

The plan was received coolly in Washington.

‘Fiendishly difficult’

While the White House has warned that a major Israeli operation in Rafah would be a “disaster” and a “red line” — at least under the current circumstances — Petraeus doesn’t see any option other than an offensive in the southern Gaza city at some point.

“Benny Gantz, my old comrade and friend, is exactly right when he said that you don’t send the fire department to extinguish 80% of the blaze,” he quipped, referring to comments the war cabinet minister made in Washington. “You have to deal with all of it.”

Israel has said it will evacuate the residents of the city, which lies along the Egyptian border but has yet to approve the military’s operational plan or publicly announce where civilians will go.

Petraeus called US concerns over the civilians sheltering around Rafah “legitimate.”

At the same time, he shares Israeli concerns about the opportunity for Hamas to use the movement of civilians northward as cover to regroup.

Tents and makeshift shelters at a camp for displaced Gazans in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on December 13, 2023. (Mahmud Hams / AFP)

Despite sharp criticism from Washington and other capitals over the growing civilian toll in Gaza, Petraeus recognized “the lengths that the IDF has gone to in order to try to get civilians out of the way; text messages, leaflets, other communications, to try to minimize that.”

Petraeus added that he was “reassured” by his conversation with Gallant on Israel’s plans to get civilians out of harm’s way.

Looking at the ongoing ground campaign against Hamas, Petraeus called it “more difficult and more challenging than anything that we ever did.”

“This is the most fiendishly difficult context for urban operations since 1945 at least,” he argued. “You have 350 miles of very well-developed tunnels, subterranean infrastructure, factories, headquarters, all these different facilities underground. You have high rises that have to be cleared. You’ve got to clear every building, every floor, every room, every cellar, every tunnel.”

The IDF has lost 249 soldiers in the ground offensive in Gaza.

“You have an enemy who doesn’t wear a uniform in most cases,” Petraeus continued, “who uses civilians as human shields, still holds over 130 hostages, which obviously complicates a very complex situation.”

It is believed that 130 hostages abducted by Hamas on October 7 remain in Gaza — not all of them alive — after 105 civilians were released from Hamas captivity during a weeklong truce in late November, and four hostages were released prior to that. Three hostages have been rescued by troops alive, and the bodies of 11 hostages have also been recovered, including three mistakenly killed by the military.

Saudi deal back on the table

After multiple commands in the Middle East — and a post leading the CIA — Petraeus knows personally many of the players in the region, including Mohammed Bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s powerful crown prince.

The Biden administration has been working to secure a landmark deal that will see a normalization in ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel. The kingdom and other Arab countries are seeking steps toward the creation of a Palestinian state as part of the potential agreement.

A normalization deal is “by no means off the table with the Saudis,” said Petraeus, “but obviously there is an even greater emphasis now on a commitment to the two-state solution.”

He said that a Palestinian state was “issue number one, two and three” when he met the Saudi king in the mid-2000s. “And then it sort of fell off the table.”

Since October 7, said Petraeus, “this has returned very significantly to the public consciousness and the kind of arrangement that the Saudis would like to reach. I think that becomes an even more prominent condition than it was before 10/7.”

Israel has an opportunity for a game-changing deal with Saudi Arabia, in Petraeus’s telling.

With Hamas in its tunnels, there is also an opportunity for Israel to replace the terror group on the ground with a new authority to run Gaza’s affairs.

Petraeus believes in grabbing opportunities with both hands.

When he commanded the 101st Airborne Division in Mosul, Iraq, he recognized that the local economy depended on the renewal of trade with Syria, but he didn’t have the authority or time to start trade negotiations between the two countries.

Instead, he took the initiative and ordered his troops to unilaterally open up the crossing on the Iraqi side, and trade started again on its own.

“You have to jump through windows of opportunity and exploit windows of opportunity while they’re open,” Petraeus said of his decision, “and not study them until they start to close, and then you try to wriggle through and force them back open.”

With Iraq on his mind, US ’savior-general‘ points at a way to victory in Gaza | The Times of Israel

Ob das im kleinen Gaza, zumal diesem Tunnelsystem funktioniert? Viktor Hanson wird da auch zitiert. Ich habe mal von ihm das Buch „Culture and Carnage“ gelesen. So ähnlich wie Richard Overy über den 2. Weltkieg ,dass demokratische Armeen besser kämpfen und deswegen zumeist und immer siegen würden. Hansons Schrift war das die Apologie für den Irakkrieg 2003. Mission accomplished.

Ex- General Erich Vad meinte noch zu den Ausführungen von Petreaus:

„Ich denke, die Israelis folgen bei der Bekämpfung der Hamas nicht COIN nach Petraeus, sondern das Vorgehen ähnelt eher dem Vorgehen der Syrier gegen die  Aufständischen Muslimbrüder in Hama 1982. Das ist der extremste Pol auf dem COIN Kontinuum. Am anderen Ende steht z. B. das Vorgehen der Briten gegen die IRA. Das war dosiert, verzichtete auf Vergeltung, nahm eigene Opfer in Kauf, kostete aber sehr viel Zeit. 

Wenn man es sich wie Netanjahu politisch leisten kann, ist die brutale Gangart effizienter, kostet aber viele unschuldige Menschenleben, wie man sieht. „

Beachtlich, aber dass es trotz dieser massiven Gebäudebombardments erstaunlicherweise bisher nur 29000 Tote gab, erstaunlich wenig, wenn man bedenkt, dass 80% der Gebäude zerstört wurden. Im Nord-Gaza hat man ja schon das Assad-Muslimbrüderszenario von 1982 oder auch während des Syrienkriegs unter dem Assad- Sohn. Aber da hatte die Gegenseite kein Tunnelsystem, wurden Ziviklisten auch nicht evakuiert oder vorgewarnt, sondern seitens der Assads die ganzen Städte samt Zivilbvöerung unterschiedslos platt gemacht . Im Gaza jetzt schon 80%der Gebäude zerstört, das Wort von „domicide“ macht die Runde macht. In Rafah scheint man ja weniger Gebäude, sondern vor allem Flüchtlingszeltlager und bestenfalls Wohncontainer zu haben und die Frage ist man eher Tote durch Kämpfe oder eben durch Hungertod befürchtet..

Doch auch schon ohne Rafah-Offensive meint Ex-NATO- General Domroese zu den bisherigen Vernichtngen::

„Klar, solange ISR nur zerstört, werden sie Terroristen ernten.
ISR muss aufbauen, um Herzen zu gewinnen, sagt Petraeus…

Stimmt alles, however, ich fürchte tooo late, diese brutale Zerstörung im Gaza lässt kaum Leben zu. Die ISR versorgen nicht einmal die Bedürtigsten. Das bleibt ewig in Erinnerung.“

Ja, nicht gerade Winning hearts and mind, eher winning heat and hate oder vielleicht auch mit Trump zu sprechen.Fire and fury.

Neben den ganzen Kriegsführungsdebaten,Strategie mit oder ohne Zweistaatenlösung , bringt ein Kommentator den Gazakrieg noch mal in einen umfassenderen Rahmen mit Perspektiven eine Neuen Mittleren Osten, der auch nicht in den sinoamerikanischen Konflikt um Globale Korridore gezogen werden könnte:

„Global corridors collide in Middle East amid Israel-Hamas war – opinion

American efforts to reach a normalization agreement between Saudi Arabia and Israel before the end of President Joe Biden’s term have been stymied by the circumstances of the Gaza war.

By SALEM ALKETBI MARCH 11, 2024 05:09

 THEN-US PRESIDENT Barack Obama speaks during a news conference at the White House about the nuclear deal reached with Iran, in July 2015. What is currently happening in the Middle East is one of the results of strategic miscalculations by the US since 2015, the writer argues.  (photo credit: JOSHUA ROBERTS/REUTERS)
THEN-US PRESIDENT Barack Obama speaks during a news conference at the White House about the nuclear deal reached with Iran, in July 2015. What is currently happening in the Middle East is one of the results of strategic miscalculations by the US since 2015, the writer argues.(photo credit: JOSHUA ROBERTS/REUTERS)

What is currently happening in the Middle East, with conflicts and tensions in Gaza, the Red Sea, Iraq, Syria, and other regions, is, in my opinion, one of the results of strategic miscalculations by the US since 2015.

This has been particularly true since the Obama administration focused its efforts on signing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran, paving the way for the US to reduce its interest in the Middle East and the Gulf region and focus on the Asia First strategy.

This direction has led to Iran having a free hand in the Middle East and even openly boasting that it controls four Arab capitals and is preparing to occupy the fifth, in a region that has long been one of the main pillars of American influence and dominance in the new global system.

What has happened in recent years is not so much a decline in American power but, rather, a decline in the willingness and ability of the US to use its power to defend its interests in the region. The quantitative and qualitative indicators continue to reflect the gap in the balance of power between the US and its allies and strategic competitors.

It is against this background that the dimensions of the economic corridor projects between East and West can be understood, in particular the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative, in which the Middle East is a central pivot, versus the economic corridor connecting India to Europe via the Gulf, Jordan, and Israel.

The US Navy aircraft carriers conduct a photo exercise with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Forces in the South China Sea August 31, 2018 (credit: MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 2ND CLASS KAILA V. PETER/U.S. NAVY/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)
The US Navy aircraft carriers conduct a photo exercise with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Forces in the South China Sea August 31, 2018 (credit: MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 2ND CLASS KAILA V. PETER/U.S. NAVY/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

Two strategic projects

The Middle East, or a large part of it, is the common denominator of the two strategic projects. There are several strategic issues at stake in these projects, the main one being that they are an expression of competition between the US and China.

The US-backed economic corridor, launched about a full decade after the Belt and Road project began, is of deep import to Washington because it has strategic dimensions that are as significant to the US as the economic and commercial interests the corridor represents to everyone from India to European countries.

Although the Belt and Road link is a gigantic project involving 155 countries around the world, the economic corridor is an invaluable soft power lever that can change the geopolitical scene in the Middle East. The two driving forces behind the projects, China and the US, have different and intertwined strategic visions.

While the US project is linked to US efforts to normalize relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel, Chinese mediation, which has succeeded in reconciling the positions of Riyadh and Tehran and bringing them closer together, is not detached from preparing opportunities for the success of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Observers agree that this mediation has strengthened China’s position in the Gulf region and the Middle East.

By contrast, American efforts to reach a normalization agreement between Saudi Arabia and Israel before the end of President Joe Biden’s term have been stymied by the circumstances of the Gaza war between Israel and the Hamas movement, especially as Saudi Arabia has linked the step toward normalization to the creation of a Palestinian state – a proposal that the Netanyahu government has so far rejected.

The point is that China has achieved a large part of the goals of the Belt and Road Initiative by expanding its economic and strategic influence in a region that has long been part of the US sphere of influence. The economic corridor project offers Washington an opportunity to reclaim the initiative and try to stop Chinese expansion in a key strategic hot spot.

This is all the more true as the US has recognized the risk of a loss of influence and a decline in American deterrence as a result of the Gaza war, allowing some pro-Iranian militias to test the limits of US power and even target the strategic American naval fleets that are the spearhead of US global influence, and in particular the confrontation with the rise of China.

Although the two initiatives aim to bridge the gap between competing regional powers, the Iran-Israel conflict remains one of the main geopolitical obstacles, especially for the economic corridor. However, given the general geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, other threats to the Belt and Road project cannot be dismissed.

The main challenge for these initiatives and projects is the geopolitical environment full of regional tensions and conflicts, with the Palestinian issue as one of the main keywords, especially with regard to a real and practical integration of Israel into a regional security system that guarantees stability and is geared toward development.

The most pressing question for observers here is: Is the US-China competition an obstacle to the stability of the Middle East, helping to deepen the conflict between the regional powers and maintain strategic polarization? Or will the desire of some of these powers – especially Saudi Arabia and the UAE – for security and stability manage to create the necessary environment for pursuing their ambitious development plans, in order to avoid the impact of polar competition on the region and work toward peace and coexistence, notwithstanding all the factors of disagreement and divergence?

The writer is a UAE political analyst and former Federal National Council candidate.

Global corridors collide in Middle East amid Israel-Hamas war – The Jerusalem Post (jpost.com)

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