Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Biden administration doubts Israel of achieving ‘total victory’ in defeating Hamas in Gaza

WASHINGTON, MAY 15: The Biden administration does not see it likely or possible that Israel will achieve “total victory” in defeating Hamas in the Palestinian enclave of Gaza, US Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell said on Monday.
While US officials have urged Israel to help devise a clear plan for the governance of post-war Gaza, Campbell’s comments are the clearest to date from a top US official effectively admitting
“In some respects, we are struggling over what the theory of victory is”, Campbell said at a NATO Youth Summit in Miami. “Sometimes when we listen closely to Israeli leaders, they talk about mostly the idea of… a sweeping victory on the battlefield, total victory”, he said.
“I don’t think we believe that that is likely or possible and that this looks a lot like situations that we found ourselves in after 9/11, where after civilian populations had been moved and lots of violence that… the insurrections continue.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly vowed to achieve “total victory” against Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that attacked Israel on October 7 and killed 1,200 people and took 250 others hostage.
In response, Israel unleashed a relentless assault on the Gaza Strip.
Campbell’s comments come as Washington is warning Israel not to go ahead with a major military offensive in Rafah, the southernmost city of the Gaza Strip where over a million people who have already been displaced by Israeli attacks are taking shelter.
Likening the situation in Gaza to that of an insurgency that the US faced in Afghanistan and Iraq after its invasions there, Campbell said a political solution was required. “I think we view that there has to be more of a political solution…What’s different from the past in that sense, is many countries want to move towards a political solution in which the rights of Palestinians are more respected”, he said. (Agencies)