Former Deputy Chief of Staff of the Israeli Army, Yair Golan, expressed his view that Israel will not be able to eliminate Hamas nor Hezbollah in the war against Gaza. He described the heads of the National Unity party, Benny Gantz, and Yesh Atid party, Yair Lapid, as the “extreme centre”.
Golan’s remarks were published by Haaretz newspaper on Friday, which reported that he is seeking to establish a new left-wing Zionist party.
Golan shared: “Hamas rule will not be abolished, at least not in the near future. The pressure on Hamas will not be enough to dismantle its strength completely. And because no military drama is to be expected here, we will need to focus on freeing the captives, preventing the entry of combat materiel into Gaza and providing a response to the humanitarian needs in the Strip. That doesn’t mean that once those goals are achieved, the campaign is over.”
He touched on the claim that the Israeli army controls the northern Gaza Strip, even though it is still facing resistance in this region: “Two convenient conditions are in the background of the achievement in the north: the evacuation of most of the population and the understanding that most of the abductees are already no longer there.”
Golan added: “Israel capable of abolishing the Hamas government? Yes. But do we have more than just a few weeks to continue the operation without sharp American opposition? Apparently not, and we are not acting in a vacuum. We will need to maintain constant offensive pressure. I would draw a comparison with Operation Defensive Shield [2002, West Bank], which lasted six weeks and after which we continued to operate in the West Bank for another five years.”
Golan has previously stated that Israel should seek a settlement with Hamas: “I said something very simple, which is that we cannot remain where we are. The idea that you freeze history and turn it into an eternal status quo has failed. The theory of conflict management has collapsed.”