Israel Vows 7 More Months of War Ahead in Gaza

ON 05/30/2024 AT 04 : 01 AM

Just as Israeli tanks and troops roll into what was supposed to be the final battlefront in Gaza, Israeli officials say the genocidal war will continue through the rest of this year.
Tzachi Hanegbi
During an interview on the state-run Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation television channel Kan yesterday, Israeli National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi revealed that Israel was still at least seven months away from achieving Prime Minister Netanyahu's goal of "total victory" against Hamas.. Cozyduke_apt_29, via X

Five days after the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to cease all military operations in Gaza, Israel’s top security strategist announced that the war will continue far longer than the “several months” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced as recently as April.

According to comments made by Israeli National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi yesterday, current intelligence assessments show it will be very difficult to defeat Hamas and other enemies present in Gaza anywhere near as quickly as their last projections.

"We have another seven months of fighting to deepen the achievement and attain what we define as the destruction of the governmental and military capabilities of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad," Hanegbi said during an evening interview on May 29 with Kan, a state-run television network operated by the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation (IPBC).

Hanegbi held the interview while present in Cyprus to monitor Israeli forces’ inspections of humanitarian aid piled up there, as Israel continues to throttle almost all emergency food, water, and medical supply deliveries targeted for Gaza.

His interview was part of what appeared to be a coordinated public relations damage control campaign Israel is running to convince the world it and its Israeli Defense Forces are not engaging in mass genocide in Gaza.

With an eye on the mounting global criticism of Israel for its bloody war which has so far killed almost 37,000 civilians in the Gaza Strip, the national security advisor strongly defended the need for continuing the fighting while the death tolls skyrocket. The war in Gaza is “not just justified and not just essential, but without it there will be no rebuilding, and we won’t be able to maintain our independence,” he said.

To that end, Hanegbi reinforced the three primary goals Israel has set for the war, which he says guide much of the military’s work in the country, which it seems he feels justifies the high civilian death toll that comes with pursuing those objectives. Those three goals are, he said, to obliterate all infrastructure which supports Hamas in Gaza; to eliminate all military threats to Israel based in Gaza; and to secure the release of all Israeli hostages held there.

As further justification for the fighting escalating even in northern Gaza, which IDF forces had supposedly already secured months ago, the national security advisor told his interviewers that Hamas had reestablished itself in the north and central regions. He implied this happened in part because Hamas’ government head Yahya Sinwa and military head Mohammed Deif have managed to evade both the IDF and Mossad, Israel’s equivalent of the American Central Intelligence Agency.

He went on to use those arguments as a reason why the escalating warfare throughout Gaza is “not just justified and not just essential, but without it there will be no rebuilding, and we won’t be able to maintain our independence.

Regarding bringing the battle in Rafah to such an extreme head, with tanks now present throughout the city, the promised door-to-door ground assault now well under way, and vicious shelling attacks like the one which incinerated dozens at the Tel al-Sultan refugee camp on May 26, Hanegbi defended the brutality of the invasion and the forced evacuation of almost 1.5 million Palestinians as “not for no reason”.

“We need to shut the border between Egypt and Gaza, because for the past 17 years there has been a kingdom of smuggling that today we are feeling with every rocket, every explosive device, every missile,” he told the reporters, repeating an Israeli propaganda line which it has been using for most of the 21st century.

The reference to seizing the border is critical to Israel’s arguments not just to justify the invasion of Rafah, but also to explain away how readily Israel decided to violate – and effectively terminate -- the Camp David Peace Accords. That treaty, signed between then Israeli Prime Minister Menachim Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, included as a key part of the agreement, that neither country could take control of the border between Gaza and Egypt, also known as the Philadelphi corridor.

Sidestepping the critical issue of Israel’s total lack of respect for the Camp David Accords, and that seizing control of that border would effectively trash everything in that peace treaty, Hanegbi spoke of what Israel had done almost as a matter-of-fact decision which was entirely Israel’s to decide and more of a news update than anything more serious.

The Israeli Defense Forces, he said, are at this moment “in control of 75% of the Philadelphi Route, and I believe it will be in control of it all with time.”

“Together with the Egyptians, we must ensure that… weapons smuggling is prevented,” the national security advisor continued.

During the interview Hanegbi also made clear the fighting was likely to expand, initially against Hezbollah forces which have recently been bombing northern Israeli targets more intensively from their bases in southern Lebanon.

He also said the world should expect Israel to take further actions regarding Iran.

“Iran is a superpower that has sent its proxies to surround us in a sort of chokehold, in order to exhaust us," he said. "They know they are not going to conquer Tel Aviv, but they want to break us, they want us to lose our way of life. They want people to stop moving to Israel and want others to leave the country."

Hours after Hanegbi’s declarations about the state of the war and its extending throughout the rest of 2024, Israel Defense Forces announced they now had “tactical control” of the Philadelphi Corridor. Though they did not yet have “boots on the ground” throughout the border, an IDF official said about the new milestone they had achieved that, “It means we have the ability to cut off the oxygen line that Hamas has used for replenishing and movement in and around that area.”

With IDF tanks, new armed personnel carriers, the first ground troop contingents, low-altitude military drones, and multi-faceted assault vehicles having entered Rafah in force as of yesterday, the war in Rafah is expected to move to its most violent stage yet beginning today and tomorrow.

As all this is happening, most world leaders, including even EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, are now calling for Israel to adhere to the International Court of Justice May 24 order for an immediate ceasefire.

The sole holdout of any significant western power regarding the ICJ decision and condemning the shelling of the Tel al-Sultan refugee camp compound in Rafah is the United States.

Though puppet Joe Biden has yet to make any public statement about this, U.S. National Security Spokesperson John Kirby said on May 28 about the 45 murdered and over 200 injured in the IDF’s May 26 Rafah encampment shelling that the White House did not believe Israel’s actions crossed Biden’s “red line” about launching its ground invasion into Rafah.

“We won’t support a major ground operation in Rafah,” Kirby explained. “The president said that, should that occur, then it might make him have to make different decisions in terms of support.”

“We haven’t seen that happen at this point,” he continued. “We have not seen them smash into Rafah.”