ריאיון מיוחד עם דניס רוסחדשות הערב, כאן 11

Former United States Director of Policy Planning and veteran Middle East diplomat for the US Dennis Ross criticized US Secretary of State Antony Blinken for his reaction to the Hamas terrorist organization's response to the latest ceasefire deal the Biden Administration is pushing for.

In an interview with Kan 11 News, Ross said that he does not believe the ceasefire's fate is " really not up to Israel right now. I think it's up to the United States. And the United States, having taken what was the Israeli proposal, turned it into a [United Nations] Security Council resolution, gotten that resolution adopted."

"Hamas obviously wants to create an impression that they're saying yes, but in fact they haven't said yes. They've said no," he observed. "I think right now, the appropriate response from the United States and from other members of the Security Council is to say publicly, 'What Hamas has come back with is not a yes. Hamas has come back with a no."

According to Ross, "The fact that they wanted to present themselves as saying yes suggests that there are some ways to influence [Hamas] when you put public pressure on it. I'm not saying that's the sole answer, but I think the starting point has to be, the United States should be very clear and it should mobilize others to say, 'Hamas has said no.' If they want to end the suffering of the Palestinians in Gaza, they need to say yes."

He took Secretary Blinken to task for accusing Hamas of "stalling" in its response to the ceasefire proposal rather than for rejecting the proposal. "If the Secretary says they're stalling, that's one thing. I'm taking it a step further. I think we should out there, mobilizing others to say, 'Hamas has said no.'"

When asked if Israel should abandon its goal of destroying Hamas so that a permanent ceasefire can be achieved, Ross replied that he does not know what is meant by the goal of destroying Hamas. "If it means the demilitarization of Hamas so that they're no longer a military, Israel is close to that. If it means you have to disarm every single member of Hamas, you'll never be able to do that. So the destruction of Hamas is not really an objective. The objective should, A: Hamas has no military, and B: Hamas's military infrastructure, meaning its industrial base, its weapons labs, its weapons depots, its tunnels - there needs to be an agreement with the United States over how much is enough in terms of setting Hamas back so it cannot be a threat to Israel, so it cannot rebuild itself, so it cannot reconstitute itself."

Later in the interview. Ross called the idea that peace can be achieved now, given the trauma both sides have suffered since October 7, an "illusion," at least until the war ends.