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Former IDF General Says Hamas Fight ‘Did Expose Some Tension’ in U.S. Relations

"There is going to be a push diplomatically to see what we can do with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," predicts former special envoy.

Rodrigo Sermeño


August 14, 2014 - 5:13 pm
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WASHINGTON – A retired brigadier general in the Israel Defense Forces said the Gaza conflict has delivered a defeat to Hamas, while exposing the political differences between the United States and Israel.

“I believe Hamas was severely beaten,” Michael Herzog said at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “While judgment can be made only over time, I think there is a reasonable chance that this time Israel may succeed in establishing a long ceasefire.”

Herzog’s comments came before a 72-hour truce ended with rockets fired into Israel last Friday morning.

He said the militant group entered this round of negotiations at a politically and financially weaker position than in Israel’s two other major conflicts in Gaza against Hamas in 2008 and 2012.

The seeds of the latest Israel-Hamas conflict were sown in 2012, when Hamas broke ranks with longtime allies Syria and Hezbollah and threw its support behind the rebels fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s civil war.

After Iran’s support for Hamas diminished significantly due to political and financial considerations, the group increasingly came to rely on money supplied by Qatar transferred through Egypt, with the assent of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, and on revenue from smuggling goods through tunnels reaching into Egypt.

When Morsi was overthrown in 2013 and former military chief Abdel Fattah Al Sisi rose to power, the political and financial situation became untenable for Hamas as Egypt moved to ban Morsi’s party, the Muslim Brotherhood; poured troops into the Sinai Peninsula; and began operations to destroy the tunnels.

Herzog, who was part of Israel’s negotiating team with Palestinians in the past, said Egypt’s willingness to play a major role in blocking the border and preventing the rearmament of Hamas and interest from regional actors to play a role in a sustainable ceasefire arrangement may also contribute to a long-term ceasefire.

Egypt will be brokering the fresh round of talks between Israel and Hamas in Cairo.

Palestinian officials told the Associated Press that Egypt has presented a proposed ceasefire aimed at ending the war.

Israel has been waging a military offensive on Gaza since July 8 to halt rocket fire, and it launched a ground assault on July 17 aimed at destroying the network of tunnels that it claims Hamas has been using to carry cross-border attacks. The latest death toll in the four-week conflict is 1,917 Palestinians, 64 Israeli soldiers, and 3 civilians.

Critics have called for the U.S. government to reconsider the unconditional $3 billion of military aid supplied to Israel each year.

Herzog said the recent conflict has revealed the political rift between the U.S. and Israel on Gaza, mainly because the administration continues to wonder “whether Hamas is part of the solution or part of the problem.”

“It did expose some tension in American-Israel relations,” Herzog said about the conflict, adding, however, that this has not interfered in the defense support provided by the U.S. to Israel.

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All Comments   (8)
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Someone should tell Ross that the Two-state solution died with the 3 boys, the Gaza war, the boycott of Ben Gurion, and the Israeli Arab riots throughout, that sided.with Hamas. The Israelis alive during this period are finished with Oslo and all its mutations. The Israeli people are united. Ross can come back and pretend otherwise, but pretence is all it will be. And Obama can go eff himself.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is so much similarity between the way Obama has been treating Israel's right to defend their country and the way Obama has treated situations like Mike Brown and Trayvon Martin. Obama IS NOT on the side of peace and security.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
It would be nice to have a policy. Active or not.

NO money to terrorists. NO visas, aid, or consideration to territories or organizations that don't tout the First Amendment.

It might help to wake some people up if more cards were sent to democrats to get them to release the ammo to the Israelis. Or not.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama and Kerry need to keep their collective noses out of Israel's business. These two jew haters have no business being involved with Israel however we all know that Obama will continue to treat Bibi like a lap dog and Kerry will continue his feckless behavnior searching for the Nobel peace prize. The USA needs to cut off all aid to the PLO as long as Hamas has any role whatsoever. Also Irael needs to conquer this region and settle the left bank. The USA also needs to crack down on the PLO arab sponsored US factions in the USA inclluding the Muslim Brotherhood the MSA and stop allowing the SAudi's the right to pour unlimited money in WAhabi activities in the USA.whatever these btards don't win on the battlefield they win by manipulating our free society towards Sharia law and support for terrorists. Our universities are cesspools of hate as a result. Time to grow up and toss these militants out of our country.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
Some people seem to forget that the Marshall Plan didn't happen until three years after the unconditional surrender.

If you try to pay an enemy without him surrendering in hopes that this way you won't have to fight him, that's not a Marshall Plan, that's Danegeld.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Conflict management'? This is not a divorce or a fence dispute between neighbors. This is an existential battle between good and evil. The US is trying to play the morally relative game of deciding that both sides make good points.
One side's point is "I want to kill you!" the other's is "No, you won't!" Try and "manage" that conflict.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think after this latest bloodletting and some 3000 rockets fired at
Israeli cities that the Palestinian dream of a two state solution has
finally been achieved: long live Gaza,
The new Palestinian State! And about the 'west bank', you ask ?
Fugget about it ! That train done left the station. Toot toot !
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
The political differences are: Israel defends her people, and America under obummer enables her enemies
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
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