Israel does not have the time to destroy Hamas — Olmert

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert . (Photo: Twitter/X)
TEL AVIV — Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has warned that the international community will force Israel to end the war in Gaza, if it continues to refuse to reveal its vision of what the Strip will look like after the end of the war.  اضافة اعلان

“Israel will not be given the time it needs to destroy Hamas unless it assures the international community that it will exit Gaza after the war and presents a realistic picture of the post-war period,” he told Hebrew Channel 12 on Sunday.

“The current government claims that it has the time it needs for months, until March of next year... Such assertions are unrealistic... We have very limited time,” Olmert added. 

A harsh critic of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Olmert warned that "If we do not draw the picture for the next stage, we will not have time to complete the military operation to break the military power of Hamas... We are much closer to the end of the military operation than the proud claims of the political leadership."

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, during his visit to Israel on Thursday, publicly supported Israel's commitment to neutralizing the threat posed by Hamas, but he also told the war cabinet and Israel's leaders that they likely have weeks, not months, to do so.

Olmert said, "If Israel wants to gain time and the patience of the international community, it must announce that it will withdraw from the Gaza Strip after the war, and present a clear vision for Gaza after the elimination of Hamas."

Olmert, who served as prime minister from 2006 to 2009, continued: "We have to make clear to the world what we want."

He also warned that if the position on resuming negotiations with the Palestinians was not disclosed, in reference to the two-state solution, his country would "lose the patience and support of the international community."

Olmert added that the Netanyahu government "does not do that, because it is not ready to take a step in this direction. It believes that it can continue to mislead the international community."

He pointed out, "The Palestinian Authority is not a Zionist group. They are not our friends. They are on the other side. But Mahmoud Abbas's security forces are working today with our security forces to try to prevent terrorism in Judea and Samarra while we are fighting in Gaza. We have no other partner."  

At the end of his dialogue, Olmert called on Netanyahu to resign, saying: “Every minute he remains (in power) harms Israel.”

He pointed out that "reaching a workable solution is necessary. We deluded ourselves that the Palestinian problem did not exist until it exploded in our faces on October 7 in an inconceivable way."

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