“Victory will turn into defeat”: Pentagon said the mistake Israel cannot make Pentagon chief warns Israel about the risk of strategic defeat in Gaza 12/03/2023, 12:36

Israel’s tactical victory in the war against the radical Palestinian group Hamas could result in a strategic defeat if the country’s Defense Forces (IDF) do not work to protect Palestinian civilians during the operation in the Gaza Strip. this view expressed Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin speaks at the Reagan National Defense Forum in California.

He said that if the civilian population of the Gaza Strip went over to the side of Hamas, “into the arms of the enemy”, the corresponding outcome could be foreseen.

“You see, the “center of gravity” in such a struggle is the civilian population. And if you throw people into the arms of the enemy, you turn a tactical victory into a strategic defeat,” the Pentagon chief noted.

According to him, Israel should create humanitarian corridors and ensure the safety of civilians.

urban struggle

The US Secretary of Defense made this statement based on similar combat experiences during the Iraq War, when he led the campaign against the Islamic State (an organization banned in Russia).

As Austin noted, Israel is engaged in urban warfare against an enemy that has managed to hold the line in one of the world’s most densely populated regions. He emphasized that in this case, victory is only possible by creating humanitarian corridors and protecting the civilian population.

“The lesson is not that you can win an urban war by protecting civilians. “The lesson here is: You can only win urban wars by protecting civilians,” he said.

The Pentagon chief said he has repeatedly told Israeli leaders that protecting Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip is “both a moral responsibility and a strategic imperative.” Washington also calls for preventing violence against Palestinians in the West Bank. But the minister said the US would remain a close friend of Israel and its support was “non-negotiable”.

The situation in the Gaza Strip

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed similar concerns a month ago. On November 3, he warned that while the physical destruction of Hamas was necessary, it was also important to make efforts to prevent the movement from gaining more supporters due to indiscriminate attacks by the Israeli army. He said this could be achieved by offering Palestinians a better future.

New York Times 3 November reportedIt was stated that in the first weeks of the war, Israel attacked Gaza mainly with heavy aerial bombs (450-900 kg), intended to destroy defensive fortifications and not intended for use in urban areas. On November 5, Washington called on the Israel Defense Forces to gather more intelligence while minimizing the number of casualties. The United States sent smaller precision bombs to Israel on November 7.

On the morning of December 1, the IDF announced the end of the seven-day ceasefire and resumed hostilities against Hamas, accusing Hamas of violating the terms of the ceasefire. The IDF said Hamas “violated the operational pause” and fired rockets at the Israeli city of Sderot.

During the humanitarian pause, the radicals freed 78 Israeli women and children, as well as 30 hostages from other countries. Israel released 240 Palestinians, mostly women and children, from prisons. It was initially planned to exchange 50 Israeli hostages for 150 Palestinian prisoners.

The other day, US Vice President Kamala Harris, after her meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, said that the US opposes Israel’s call for Gazans to leave the region. HE expressed The US position that the only way to solve the problem is the establishment of a full-fledged Palestinian state and the transfer of the Gaza Strip to its control, subject to international support.

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has warned Israel of a possible strategic defeat in Gaza if the IDF does not protect civilians in the strip during the Hamas war. According to the Pentagon chief, civilians will be able to join the ranks of Hamas if the Israeli army does not protect them. Austin made this prediction based on his combat experience during the Iraq War.

Source: Gazeta


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