How Israel is using the US as a “strategic pawn”
Israel’s military offensive against Gaza has turned into a “proxy war” in the US, a top Israeli official said on Thursday.
“This is the first time that Israel has attacked Gaza using the Americans as a strategic pawn,” Yaakov Amidror, Israel’s deputy foreign minister, told Israel’s Army Radio.
“The Americans were never an obstacle, and have not been a problem.”
Amidror said Israel has sent “thousands of troops” to Gaza, and “has sent over 3,000 soldiers to Gaza”.
“We’ve sent over 400 tanks and missiles.
We’ve also sent over 700 planes,” he said.
“We have sent over 10,000 troops into Gaza, in addition to the soldiers.
We are in the process of transferring over 100,000 people to Gaza.”
Amidresser also said Israel had used its “very powerful military advantage” to pressure the United States into backing Israel’s offensive.
“It’s a new kind of war,” he added.
Israel has been targeting the enclave since last July, launching its assault on the territory in response to the UN Security Council resolution, adopted on Wednesday, which called on it to “immediately halt its attacks on Gaza”.
Amidror called on the US to take the UNSC resolution into account when it decides whether to provide aid to Gaza.
The US and Israel have been engaged in a sustained military campaign since 2014 to reverse the Palestinian leadership’s efforts to secede from the state of Israel and form a sovereign state.
Israel launched the assault on Gaza after the Hamas movement, which dominates the Gaza Strip, announced it would not hold the vote on the UN resolution, which was passed unanimously on Tuesday.
The Hamas declaration followed months of diplomatic acrimony between the two sides, with Israel accusing the Palestinian leader of using the vote to seek to gain leverage against the United Nations.
US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday that Israel’s campaign was “an example of why we have to be very clear that the United Kingdom will never back down on Israel’s right to defend itself and defend itself”.
Amidoor also said the US was concerned about the escalation in violence in Gaza.
“I have seen the increasing number of fatalities, particularly in the Gaza City area, and the growing number of civilians killed,” he told Army Radio, referring to the enclave’s eastern neighbourhoods.
“A lot of the Israeli forces that are engaged in this are using them as a political tool to try to force the Palestinians to make concessions in return for a ceasefire and to allow them to continue to work on an end to this conflict.”
US Secretary John Kerry, who met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington on Wednesday to discuss the escalating conflict, said Israel’s attack on Gaza was “a very serious matter” that needed to be responded to.
He said he had “full confidence” that Israel was “taking all necessary measures to protect civilians and the civilian population of Israel”.