GIFiles: “Inviting another Israeli offensive against Gaza is Hamas’s worst nightmare”
In a 2008 diplomatic cable from the U.S. Embassy in Tel-Aviv, published by Wikileaks during the Cablegate revelations, since Hamas became the dominant political force in the Gaza strip Israel has considered Gaza a “hostile entity”. This status, according to Israel, gives them the right to maintain a harsh economic embargo, which at times has included humanitarian aid, food and even money flows. According to the cable this designation means that “decisions in shekels in circulation in Gaza and the territory’s economy in general are treated by the GOI (Government of Israel) as security matters”.
It later states that:
“Israeli officials have confirmed to Embassy officials on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis.“
These words are in line with declarations made in private by Omar Suleiman, Egypt’s ex General Intelligence Chief, who said that “Egypt wants Gaza to go “hungry” but not “starve.”
According to a 2011 classified document from the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (private contractors of the Israeli Defense Forces) published by Wikileaks, since Operation Cast Lead ended in 2009, “there has been a significant reduction in the extent and severity of terrorist attacks carried out by Hamas”.
According to the report: “In our assessment, Israel’s deterrent power still exists and Hamas clearly wants to continue its policy of restraint to keep the situation from deteriorating.”
This information serves to prove that even though there has been an escalation in confrontations during the past months, Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza are in no condition to be a serious threat to Israel. This is supported by insider declarations made by the Egyptian ambassador in Lebanon, who told Stratfor that one of his contacts inside Hamas had said that:
“Inviting another Israeli offensive against Gaza is Hamas’s worst nightmare since they have not been allowed to recover from the disastrous consequences of the Cast Lead Operation”
Other Stratfor sources agreed that “Hamas has no plans to escalate the situation with Israel”.
As Israel’s Defense Intelligence Director Yadlin told U.S. officials in private: “the Palestinians are only Israel’s number four threat in the IDI’s assessment, following Iran, Syria, and Hizballah.”
On November 14th Israel launched a new series of attacks on Gaza, codenamed Operation Pillars of Defense, with airstrikes which sought to destroy remaining Hamas infrastructure. According to Palestinian officials up to 38 Palestinians have been killed – 22 militants, including Hamas’ military leader and 19 civilians, among them pregnant women and 8 children. Hamas’ response has been to fire up to 160 rockets into Israeli territory, causing three civilian casualties.
On November 17th, 75,000 reserve soldiers were called up as the area around Gaza has been declared closed military zone and the IDF is preparing for an imminent invasion of the strip.
Original document source:
Date of release: November 17th 2012
Photo: Female combat soldiers of the field intelligence company “Nachshol” are stationed along the southern Israeli border. Due to the increased tension in the area, a unique exercise was conducted in the beginning of November, practicing clashes with terrorists, storming at targets, and high-level camouflage, while confronted with mock explosives simulating real bombs.
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