Israeli War Leader Challenges Netanyahu on Gaza Strategy

A high-ranking member of Israel’s war cabinet, Gadi Eisenkot, has criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for not being truthful about the military objectives in Gaza. Despite Netanyahu’s public rejection of a future Palestinian state and a commitment to continue the offensive until complete victory, Eisenkot, a retired general, argued that those calling for the absolute defeat of Hamas were not being honest. Eisenkot, who lost his son in the Gaza conflict, holds Netanyahu responsible for the country’s security lapses on October 7 and called for fresh elections due to a lack of trust in the current leadership.

Tensions within the Israeli cabinet, including strained relations between Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, coincide with a growing divide between Israel and its Western allies. The disagreement became evident after Netanyahu rejected the U.S. push for a Palestinian state, with the White House expressing a different perspective. President Joe Biden, in a recent call with Netanyahu, discussed a two-state solution, emphasizing its viability.

Despite international pressure, Netanyahu has been consistent in resisting a Palestinian state, even boasting about preventing its establishment. The timing of his statements could contribute to his growing isolation on the global stage. As the death toll in Gaza nears 25,000, according to Hamas-run health ministry figures, the U.S. has repeatedly attempted to influence Israel’s military strategy and promote a two-state solution.

Netanyahu’s stance aligns with a more hard-line, anti-Palestinian position, which contrasts with Arab attempts to mediate. Saudi Arabia, for instance, has suggested normalizing ties with Israel as part of a ceasefire deal that includes a two-state solution. However, Netanyahu appears to prioritize political survival over potential diplomatic gains.

With Netanyahu’s popularity waning in Israel and calls for prioritizing the release of hostages over the destruction of Hamas, the dynamics of the conflict are shifting. The prime minister’s rejection of a future Palestinian state reflects a departure from previous Arab mediation attempts. His positioning as “Mr. No Independent Palestine” may resonate with a traumatized public that, while falling out of favor with its leader, remains reluctant to envision a Palestinian state as a neighbor.

Source: BBC

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