Israel Must Send a Clear Message to the U.S.

(Israel Hayom) Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser - A decisive victory in the complex campaign against Iran and its proxies requires a clear outcome in Gaza. This war has been forced upon Israel, and it began under extremely difficult opening conditions. For that very reason, both Israel and the U.S. must end it in victory. This means Israeli control at the end of high-intensity fighting over the entire area, including Rafah and the Philadelphi Route on the border with Egypt. Ending major combat operations before this goal is achieved will allow Hamas to claim that it forced Israel to effectively change its war goals and will encourage its supporters who set themselves the goal of ensuring Hamas' survival in Gaza. As long as Hamas is perceived by the population as a governing entity, it would be able to claim it had won. It is also important to drive home the message in talks with the U.S. that defeating Hamas requires creating a reality that will not allow terrorists to rear their heads. Gaining control over the entire area will also give Israel the necessary leverage to release the captives. The Americans' stated desire to avoid getting dragged into a regional war and have Israel end major combat operations even before completing the takeover of the entire Strip encourages Iran and its proxies to continue to gradually escalate their use of force, in the hope that the U.S. administration will stop Israel. Defeating Hamas and convincing the U.S. that this is also a war over the regional and global order are key in the effort to create a new security reality along the northern border that will give residents a sense of security and allow them to return home. This is the condition to secure shipping through the Bab al-Mandeb strait. And this is the condition to promote efforts to establish normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia. The writer, former head of the IDF Military Intelligence Research Division, is a senior project manager at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

2024-01-03 00:00:00

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