WASHINGTON, August 8 (RIA Novosti) - The current Israel-Gaza conflict delivered a defeat to Hamas, but also exposed political rifts between the United States and Israel, former brigadier general of the Israeli Defense Forces and Israeli expert, Michael Herzog said Thursday.
“I believe Hamas was severely beaten,” Herzog said during a meeting at the Washington Institute for Near East Policies. “While judgment can be made only over time, I think there is a reasonable chance that this time Israel may succeed in establishing a long ceasefire given the fact that Hamas is weak politically and financially, given the fact that Egypt is willing to play a major role in blocking the border and preventing the rearmament of Hamas, and given the fact that other regional actors are willing to play a role in a sustainable ceasefire arrangement.”
A ceasefire between Israel and Hamas has held since Tuesday morning, the longest lull in the fighting since it began on July 8. Israeli troops are reported to have significantly withdrawn from Gaza. Egypt will be brokering the upcoming indirect talks between Israel and Hamas, aided by US diplomats where issues of security, disarming Hamas, and opening the blockade of Gaza will be addressed by all sides.
In the recent conflict, Israel faced harsh criticism from the West as it conducted operations resulting in hundreds of civilian casualties.
“It did expose some tension in American-Israel relations,” Herzog said about the conflict, adding, however, that the political differences did not interfere in the defense support provided by the US to Israel.
Critics of the US support of Israel often call for US government to reconsider the unconditional $4 billion of military aid supplied to Israel each year. During this current conflict, the outpouring of disapproval from the West was duly noted. Herzog himself said that he believes there were more protests in Europe and the United States against Israel’s actions, than from the Arab world.