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Hamas is obviously not an "Iranian proxy."
Netanyahu honeymoons with Hamas, expects quiet in return Quoting: [link to www.al-monitor.com (secure)]
Ben Caspit | February 21, 2020 (less than fiddy)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has quietly made a number of significant
concessions to Hamas to buy some quiet until the March 2 elections in Israel.
Israel Defense Forces chief of staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi is known to be
more gung-ho about engaging Hamas than his predecessor, Gadi Eizenkot, was.
In addition, Israel’s new defense minister, Naftali Bennett,
is aggressive and outspoken on the issue.
Yet, ironically, Israel has embarked on an unprecedented honeymoon with Hamas,
which has controlled the Gaza Strip for almost 13 years, since 2007.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has made a career out of issuing hollow threats
against the organization and Gaza, now appears to be in love with
Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh, while Bennett strolls into the sunset
arm-in-arm with Hamas' Gaza chief, Yahya Sinwar.
“Netanyahu will not risk a military move before the elections,”
a senior Likud source told Al-Monitor on the condition of anonymity.
“We can easily go into Gaza, but it would be very difficult to get out safely.”
Israel also has a diplomatic-strategic interest in avoiding an offensive.
“Hamas has turned from being an enemy of Netanyahu into a sort of distant relative,”
a former senior military official who requested anonymity told Al-Monitor.
“The prime minister knows that if the Hamas regime is toppled,
and the Palestinian Authority (PA) returns to Gaza, pressure will grow
on Israel to conduct true negotiations with the Palestinians, and
that is the last thing in the world that Netanyahu wants to happen.”
Israel's northern front also is also providing a deterrent.
“Netanyahu has managed to convince Bennett that it is far more important
to continue battling the Iranian entrenchment in Syria and
pushing ahead with the ‘war between the wars,’” said a senior Israeli
security official speaking on the condition of anonymity. “It is a matter of proportions.
Hamas does not constitute an existential or immediate threat. Iran does.”
Al-Arabiya correspondent: Israel asked Doha for
15 million dollars in monthly financial support for Hamas.
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