Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert commented that the goal of the war on Gaza to “destroy the Hamas movement will not be achieved,” stressing that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pledges in this regard are “boastful” and that he is fighting a war for his personal gains.
These remarks were made in an article by Olmert in Israel’s Haaretz newspaper on Friday.
Olmert wrote: “Gaza is crashing, thousands of its citizens are sadly paying with their lives, thousands of Hamas fighters happily are being killed, but the destruction of Hamas will not be achieved. Whether Yahya Sinwar is found or enjoys a short life in hiding until he, Mohammed Deif and their partners in Hamas’ leadership are eliminated, Hamas will continue as a very weak, battered, bleeding force. But it will continue to exist on the edge of Gaza.”
“Given that this is the true assessment of the situation, we must prepare for a change of direction. I know this may be unpopular. In the atmosphere of incitement, bravado and arrogance characterising the conduct of this government and its head, one must not shy away from saying things which are not obvious but are necessary, out of a sense of national responsibility,” he added.
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Olmert also conveyed: “The State of Israel now faces the choice between a cease-fire as part of a deal that may bring home the hostages in the hope that most of them are alive, and a cease-fire with no deal, no hostages, no apparent achievement, with a total loss of the remnants of international public support for the State of Israel’s right to exist without terror threats from murder organisations.”
According to Israeli statistics, Hamas captured about 239 people during its attack on southern Israel on 7 October. It exchanged dozens of them with Israel during a humanitarian truce that lasted seven days until 1 December, while Israel currently imprisons 7,800 Palestinians, including women and children.
Olmert noted: “This cessation of hostilities will be forced upon us by our closest allies, led by the United States, England, France and Germany. They will no longer be able to bear the price they pay in their public’s opinion in light of the gap between the lack of a military resolution and the continuation of fighting bearing humanitarian costs the consequences of which they will not be willing to bear.”