‘Israel is close to completing dismantling of Hamas as a military’, ex-US envoy Ross says

‘Israel is close to completing dismantling of Hamas as a military’, ex-US envoy Ross says

FRANCE 24 spoke to Dennis Ross, a former US Middle East chief negotiator, who is now a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. The ex-US envoy said he believes that “Israel is pretty close to completing the dismantling of Hamas as a military”, which is “back to being a militia and engaging in an insurgency”. However, he regretted that there was “no answer on the Israeli side” to the issue of post-war planning for Gaza, saying “I think the Biden administration should be focused on that.”

Speaking in Doha, Qatar on Wednesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US “in the coming weeks” will present “key elements of the day-after planning including concrete ideas for how to manage governance, security, reconstruction”.

Turning to tensions within the Israeli war cabinet following the resignation of Benny Gantz, Ross said “we’re getting close to a moment” when Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu will have to choose between US President Joe Biden and far-right Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir.

Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich “are threatening to leave the government” if the current ceasefire proposal is accepted by Israel, he explained.

On May 31, US President Joe Biden said it was “time to end the war” in Gaza, spelling out the outlines of a hostage and ceasefire deal and presenting it as Israel’s offer. The plan has since been endorsed by the UN Security Council in a resolution.

Blinken said this Wednesday that Hamas had proposed “numerous changes” in its response to the deal and that while some of the changes are workable, some are not.

Source » france24.com