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Israeli officials warn of deteriorating situation in Gaza

A Gazan boy walks with his younger sibling through their poverty stricken neighbourhood in Gaza on 4 September 2013 [Ezz Zanoon/Apaimages]
A Gazan boy walks with his younger sibling through their poverty stricken neighbourhood in Gaza on 4 September 2013 [Ezz Zanoon/Apaimages]

A number of senior former Israeli officials have warned of the deteriorating situation in the Gaza Strip, pointing to the complicated issue of the Israeli relations with Hamas which rules the coastal enclave, Israel’s Channel 2 revealed yesterday.

Marking the third anniversary of the Israeli offensive on Gaza in 2014, the Israeli TV broadcasted a report including remarks from senior officials and concluded that

Gaza is on the edge of collapse due to the difficult living and economic situation.

Gaza has been enduring a strict Israeli siege since 2007. Egypt and the international community back the siege under the pretext of cracking down on weapons smuggling.

According to the report, the Israeli Transportation and Intelligence Affairs Minister Yisrael Katz criticised the lack of “clear policy” to deal with the Gaza Strip.

“All the [Israeli] governments are stupid,” Katz said, noting that all of them had “no strategic vision” to deal with the situation in Gaza.

Meanwhile, the former head of the Southern Command in the Israeli Army Sami Turgeman said: “Hamas has nothing to lose if it goes to a new battle in Gaza.  The Gaza Strip is like a volcano which could explode anytime.”

Read: Israel launches fresh attacks on Gaza

He added: “Gaza is like a pressure cooker boiling intensively and we have to work in order to prevent its collapse.”

The former Mossad Chief Efraim Halevy called for the Israeli government to “launch a dialogue” with Hamas, which rules Gaza. If this proposal was not taken seriously, he said, “Israel would face crises with the coming generations and there would be rounds of fights at the end of the day.”

However, the former reserve commander in the Israeli army, Amos Gilad, who was in charge of running the prisoner swap with Hamas which was reached in 2011, said: “Hamas will never accept speaking with Israel.”

#GazaSiege

Gilad concluded that there is “no radical solution with Hamas,” calling for the Israeli government to “understand Hamas demands and actions.”

Commenting on the report, the Palestinian analysts and expert in the Israeli affairs Fayez Abu Shammala said: “This report keeps up with the official Israeli stance towards Gaza. It precedes the cabinet’s meeting which will be held on Tuesday to discuss looking for an exit from this dilemma.”

Abu Shammala reiterated that the occupation is afraid of a potential explosion in the Gaza Strip, noting that the Arab governments have the same feeling. Therefore, some of the Arab governments asked Israel to facilitate the siege on Gaza.

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