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Tags: bejnamin netanyahu | israel | idf | hamas | war | gaza

Tensions Flare Between Israel Military, Netanyahu

By    |   Thursday, 20 June 2024 04:36 PM EDT

The top spokesman for Israel Defense Force (IDF) said Wednesday the goal of destroying Hamas is unattainable as tensions arise between the military and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government.

Netanyahu has long stated that the primary goals of Israel's war against the Iranian-backed terror group in the Gaza Strip was to destroy Hamas politically and militarily and rescue the hostages taken during the Oct. 7 attack.

But IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari told Israeli television Wednesday, according to The Times of Israel, "This business of destroying Hamas, making Hamas disappear – it's simply throwing sand in the eyes of the public."

But Hagari also said, "Hamas is an idea, Hamas is a party. It's rooted in the hearts of the people – anyone who thinks we can eliminate Hamas is wrong."

Netanyahu's office fired back with a statement, according to The Wall Street Journal: "The security cabinet headed by Prime Minister Netanyahu defined the destruction of Hamas' military and governmental capabilities as one of the goals of the war. The IDF is of course committed to this."

The IDF spokesperson's unit countered with a statement, according to the Times of Israel, that the military is committed to the government's stated war goals, including destroying Hamas' governing and military abilities, adding that Hagari talked in the interview about "eradicating Hamas as an ideology and an idea."

"Any claim otherwise is taking the remarks out of context," the IDF said.

The exchange illustrates months of tensions between Netanyahu and the country's military leadership, which argues that Hamas can only be defeated if Israel replaces it with another governing authority in Gaza, the Journal reported.

Reports by Israeli television outlets have said IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi and Ronen Bar, head of Shin Bet, Israel's internal security service, recently feuded with Netanyahu over strategic planning, the Times of Israel reported. This after National Unity leader Benny Gantz resigned last week from the War Cabinet after Netanyahu refused to present a postwar plan by a deadline he set.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has urged Netanyahu to advance plans for postwar governance of Gaza, warning in May that a failure to find a replacement for Hamas will undermine Israel's military achievements because Hamas would be able to regroup and reassert control of the area, the Times of Israel reported. Gallant also called on Netanyahu to rule out the idea of Israeli military and civil rule in Gaza after the end of the war.

There have been other recent signs of friction between the military and Netanyahu, the Times of Israel reported, including over "tactical pauses" in fighting along a road in southern Gaza that Netanyahu criticized. The IDF said the move was in line with his instructions to increase the amount of aid entering Gaza.

"In order to achieve the goal of destroying Hamas's capabilities I've had to make decisions that weren't always accepted by the military leadership," Netanyahu said Sunday during a cabinet meeting.

Michael Katz

Michael Katz is a Newsmax reporter with more than 30 years of experience reporting and editing on news, culture, and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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The top spokesman for Israel Defense Force (IDF) said Wednesday the goal of destroying Hamas is unattainable as tensions arise between the military and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government.
bejnamin netanyahu, israel, idf, hamas, war, gaza
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2024-36-20
Thursday, 20 June 2024 04:36 PM
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