Israel: Turgeman tells Hamas about Israel’s plans

The outgoing chief of Israel’s southern command forces Sami Turgeman has stated that Israel would like to replace Hamas in the Gaza Strip, although some of their interests are similar.

Israel considered Hamas to be irreplaceable but Turgeman hinted that Tel Aviv’s policy has changed.

“We don’t see Hamas as something that has to remain forever,” he said at a conference organized by the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya. “If Hamas believes it is safe forever, it risks losing its rule in Gaza,” he said.

Turgeman explained that the group that is enjoying political dominance in the Gaza Strip is not seen as “something that has to remain forever” because just like “Hamas would like to replace the State of Israel with an Islamic state, we would like to replace Hamas as well.”

Hamas considers Israel to be its sworn enemy and they have clashed several times with civilians suffering the most during such confrontations.

Despite their differences, Turgeman admitted that Israel shares “three temporary interests” with Hamas in the Gaza Strip namely the prevention of Humanitarian crisis after the destruction of basic infrastructure, stopping the jihadist organizations from gaining the upper hand and avoiding political crisis that could lead to a leadership void. Hamas has shown concerns about Islamist groups in Gaza and it is trying to curb their activities in order to continue being the main powerhouse.

Turgeman didn’t foresee an end to the conflict with the Palestinians but said “the best option we have is managing the conflict, with sporadic outbursts of violence from time to time.”

Meanwhile reports have stated that President Abbas is planning to nullify the Oslo Accords which will make the occupied Palestinian territories “a state under occupation.”

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