The U.S. veto of a U.N. resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza was a "perfunctory response," but the "words start to dribble away" when Israel continues to be told how to fight its war with Hamas, retired U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Blaine Holt said on Newsmax Saturday.
"The Israelis are winning," Holt said on Newsmax's "America Right Now." "They're having success. They're taking a scourge off of the planet for us. We should be grateful and not micromanaging them."
However, he said he is "heartened" by what National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Friday with his comments about hostages remaining in custody in Gaza.
In remarks to reporters, Kirby commented he had no news to break about the return of the hostages, but acknowledged that "we're not close to inking another deal on a humanitarian pause."
"His very blank, neutral response tells me that on the military side, we're probably cultivating and working with the Israeli Defense Forces and that we have a superior relationship at the military level, sharing intelligence," said Holt. "I'm hopeful that they're putting together some sort of rescue mission possibility, and it may involve U.S. forces."
Still, Hamas knows it has been backed into a corner and doesn't have much leverage when it comes to working out a deal, said Holt.
Meanwhile, former Israel Defense Forces Sgt. Jonny Daniels, who appeared on the segment with Holt, said Saturday that the Israelis are making an "incredibly strong push" in Gaza.
"The north is almost entirely taken care of," he said. "By this point, Hamas terrorists are surrendering and others are being dealt with in face-to-face combat. In the south we're seeing a very strong push."
It's "difficult" for the IDF, Daniels added, but "we're getting close and pushing Hamas into a position where we're going to be able to get back to hostage talks ... We're going to be absolutely fine, and we're going to win this war."
Still, Israel needs the United States to stand behind it, and the "wavering" concerning funding for that fight "isn't overly helpful," said Daniels.
Hamas, meanwhile, is starting to go into their tunnels "like sewer rats," he said when asked about reports that Israel is considering flooding the tunnels with seawater to ruin them.
"This is what we're dealing with," said Daniels. "We're dealing with people who are hiding under schools, hiding under mosques; and we have to be tough."
Flooding, he added, is "just one of the many different ways that we deal with these tunnel systems. They have to be dealt with because it's not just people that are hiding under there. It's intelligence. It's other things. And even within the tunnels, it's a big issue. We know the hostages are held inside the tunnels. So with every single tunnel comes a huge amount of work. Our troops are endangered dealing with them, but we're doing it carefully."
Holt also commented on Thursday's attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and the dozens of attacks on U.S. interests in the Middle East.
"Right now we have 66 injuries," Holt said. "If you want to know why our deterrents in this region are falling apart, it's because we leave our forces vulnerable and we don't react appropriately. And that is hurting Israel as well."
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Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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