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Top Reporter: Leadership Isn't Seeking Victory

Channel 2 parliamentary reporter says Israel's security leadership, including Netanyahu, just doesn't want to go all the way in Gaza.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 8/24/2014, 7:03 PM

Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon with IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz
Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon with IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz
Flash 90

Amit Segal, Channel 2 television's Knesset reporter, explained Sunday on Galei Israel Radio that Israel's leaders want to end Operation Protective Edge as soon as possible, without truly defeating Hamas.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon and IDF Chief of Staff, said Segal, “do not really have a desire to reach a victory. At one point, they wanted deterrence instead of victory, and I'm not sure they want that either. They want to end the operation."

Segal cites as proof of his theory a speech made by Gantz three weeks ago, in which he encouraged residents of southern Israel to go back to their homes, in anticipation of the success of Cairo ceasefire talks that had just begun. “The summer is hot here. The fall will follow it. The fields will become green, and a 'red south' in the positive sense of the word, of anemones and flowers and stability, will be here, and will remain for many years.”

The speech “made clear that Israel's top officer does not want to fight. As far as he is concerned, he has ended the operation, and this was done even as the Israeli delegation in Cairo tried to drive through a tough bargain,” noted Segal.

Yaalon, added Segal, said that he saw Israel's victory in the fact that the Hamas delegation in Cairo was not negotiating directly with the Israeli team, because Israel refused to negotiate directly with it. This is “a very problematic statement,” said the reporter.

Lastly, said Segal, the IDF showed the Israeli Security Cabinet a presentation that predicted severe casualties and a very high diplomatic price for any attempt to conquer the Gaza Strip – and the content of the presentation was leaked to the press. This leak, he added, made it clear to Hamas that it need not fear an Israel conquest, and could go on firing its rockets, because the scenario in which Israel invades and topples Hamas will never turn into a reality. “And how do we know that this won't happen? Because there is a mole in the cabinet, and that mole made sure to leak to the TV that that Israel is not interested at all in a ground operation, and will not pay the price.”

Given the context, Segal appeared to be hinting that the person responsible for the leak was none other than Prime Minister Netanyahu.