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Netanyahu’s growing rift with the Israeli military raises questions about the future of the Gaza war

But analysts say the most important concern for the Israeli military is ensuring that hard-won tactical gains against Hamas, which has ruled Gaza since 2007, are not wasted. To do that, Admiral Hagari said, there must be an alternative to Hamas in Gaza.

For now, Netanyahu has sought to avoid making a decision on how to manage the region once the fighting stops. The United States and other allies say the Palestinian Authority, which oversees parts of the occupied West Bank, will ultimately be in charge of Gaza, while far-right coalition partners face political survival. Netanyahu’s reliance will support permanent Israeli rule in Gaza.

As a result, overwhelmed by competing pressures, Netanyahu mostly said no. He has excluded both the Palestinian Authority and new Israeli settlements in Gaza, and vowed to continue the offensive until Hamas is destroyed. He said little about who would be ultimately responsible for the region’s 2.2 million residents.

General Shamni said that Admiral Hagari’s comments seemed to be intended to pressure Mr. Netanyahu to maintain his stance. “You have to decide, tell us what you want,” General Shamni said. “You don’t want the Palestinian Authority, fine. Instead tell us what you want. A military administration? They don’t even talk that much.”

“The government as a whole has no position,” he added.

Yoav Gallant, Israel’s defense minister, said last month that Netanyahu’s inability to make a clear choice pushed Israel toward two unattractive outcomes: either an Israeli military regime in Gaza or the end of Hamas. will eventually return to power.

“We will pay the price in blood and many victims, for no reason, as well as a heavy economic price,” Mr. Gallant said in a televised speech.

Meanwhile, Palestinians in Gaza face increasing chaos. There are no police to enforce law and order, and public services such as trash collection are virtually non-existent. In southern Gaza, thousands of tons of humanitarian aid were stranded at sea The Gaza side of Israel’s main border crossing because aid groups say distributing goods is too dangerous.

Amir Avivi, a retired Israeli major general who chairs a hawkish forum of former security officials, said Israeli military leaders are increasingly worried that they could be asked to shoulder the burden. that burden. “That’s the last thing they want,” General Avivi said, although he personally favors permanent Israeli control there.

Gen. Avivi said some believe the war’s goals have been achieved as much as possible and wish to end the campaign in Gaza and shift the focus to rising tensions with Hezbollah, the Lebanese armed group.


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