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Aviv Kochavi: there’s no possibility for Israel to rescue hostages without bringing an end to the conflict in Gaza

According to Aviv Kochavi, the former Israeli military chief, Israel attempted to eliminate the top leadership of Hamas but failed.

He also stated that the conflict with Hezbollah could potentially cease if the Gaza war were to end. Kochavi, who was one of the officials blamed in Israel for the security lapse leading to Hamas’ October 7th attack, emphasized that the only way to secure the release of Israeli hostages in Gaza is by halting the war in the region.

During a Jewish gathering in the US, broadcasted by Israel’s Channel 12, Kochavi stated, “I don’t think there’s a way to bring back the hostages without stopping the war, for now.”

He further explained, “Iran was the top priority. We were preparing the military vis-à-vis Iran. We did not perceive the Gaza Strip and Hamas as an existential threat. The grand strategy was to focus on Iran and the northern arena, to prepare the military and to do whatever we can to pacify the other arenas.”

Kochavi’s comments come amidst criticism for the security failure leading to the October 7th events, which Hamas claimed were a response to daily Israeli attacks on Al Aqsa Mosque, settler violence in the occupied West Bank, and to address the Palestinian issue.

The hours-long raid by Hamas and the haphazard reaction by the Israeli military reportedly resulted in the deaths of more than 1,130 people, according to Israeli officials and local media.

Palestinian fighters have taken over 250 hostages, with 130 remaining in Gaza, including 34 reported dead by the Israeli army due to indiscriminate strikes. Israeli actions have resulted in the deaths of at least 34,844 Palestinians, with over 78,404 wounded and thousands feared buried under the rubble of bombed homes.

Many countries and genocide experts view the Israeli war as reaching genocidal proportions, causing widespread destruction and shortages in Gaza. Israel faces accusations of genocide at the International Court of Justice, with an interim ruling suggesting the plausibility of such actions and ordering measures to ensure humanitarian aid reaches Gaza’s civilians.

Fighting with Hezbollah

Kochavi disclosed that Israel attempted but ultimately failed to target senior Hamas leaders in Gaza.

“There was an effort to eliminate Hamas leaders Yahya Sinwar and Mohammed Deif, but the densely populated and heavily built-up areas made it extremely challenging,” he stated.

Regarding the situation concerning Hezbollah in the north, Kochavi emphasized that “the only way to end the conflict with Hezbollah is to cease the hostilities in Gaza.”

He expressed skepticism about achieving desired outcomes through diplomatic means and suggested that military action could be an alternative option.

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