Israeli military denies infighting as media alleges division

by ian

Much of the world media is claiming that the Israeli military is beginning to break apart from within, citing a quote from the IDF’s spokesperson. The Israeli government, however, is fighting that accusation. So the question remains: what exactly is the situation?

The issue revolves around comments made by IDF spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari. During an interview, Hagari commented on the fact that Hamas exists not just as a military force, but as an ideology.

There are various interpretations of Hagari’s quotes, but they all essentially say the same thing: it is near impossible to eliminate Hamas as an idea, and anyone who believes so “is wrong.”

Hagari followed up those comments by saying that the Israeli government needs to consider replacements for Hamas’ operations in Gaza to make the terror group disappear.

This was quickly interpreted by some media outlets as Hagari’s disagreement with the underlying goals of Israel’s campaign against the terrorist group. Media outlets including CBS, ABC and Al Jazeera ran with this idea, claiming that the Israeli military is experiencing an ever-growing rift.

But the Israeli government and military responded by saying that the meaning was taken out of context. The IDF released a follow-up statement and said Hagari’s remarks were in reference to “eradicating Hamas as an ideology and an idea.”

Hagaris comments were remarkably similar to others he made last month when he said that there is a need for “a governmental alternative to Hamas” in Gaza.

The Israeli government also released a statement reaffirming its goals regarding the campaign against Hamas. That post reads:

The Security Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has defined the destruction of Hamas’ military and governing capabilities as one of the goals of the war. The IDF, of course, is committed to this.

There seems to be some confusion in the Israeli government over the exact post-war plans for Gaza. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu previously indicated that Israel would control the security situation in Gaza, but not the governance. Others in his government felt that Israel should be in charge of Gaza’s governance, too.

The war cabinet has since dissolved in recent days, and the future of the area remains a mystery.