We Failed to Kill Sinwar, Deif – Former Israeli Chief of Staff Calls for Ending Gaza War

Aviv Kohavi, former Israeli Army Chief of General Staff. (Photo: via Wikimedia Commons)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Kochavi left his position about nine months before the Al-Aqsa Flood military operation was launched by the Palestinian Resistance, on October 7.

Former Israeli Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi said that halting the war on Gaza is the only way to return Israeli captives, Israeli media reported. 

He also revealed failed Israeli attempts to assassinate Yahya Sinwar, the head of the Palestinian Resistance movement Hamas in Gaza, and Mohammed Al-Deif, the Commander-in-Chief of the Al-Qassam Brigades.

These were Kochavi’s first extensive public remarks since leaving office, disclosed while speaking with American Jews and leaked exclusively by Israeli channel 12 on Wednesday evening.

Halting the War

Kochavi left his position about nine months before the Al-Aqsa Flood military operation was launched by the Palestinian Resistance, on October 7.

Many in Israel, however, see him as one of those responsible for the security failure that led to those events, Channel 12 reported.

“Up until two or three months (ago), these two goals (eliminating Hamas and rescuing the hostages – PC) were not contradictory. Nowadays, I’m afraid that they are,” Kochavi was quoted as saying. 

“It’s too late. I don’t think there is a way to bring back the hostages without halting, for the time being, the war,” he reportedly added.

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Existential Threat

Kochavi admitted that, while Israel considered Iran an existential threat, it did not perceive Gaza as a potential danger.

“We did not perceive Gaza as an existential threat; Iran was our top priority,” he was quoted as saying.”

Nonetheless, Kochavi said that in 2021, they saw “a change with Hamas” and “pointed out that something new was going on.”

The former Israeli chief of staff said that this realization led to the decision of assassinating Sinwar and al-Deif.

“We tried, and it’s hard. In a densely populated, heavily built-up area it is very hard. So we had been working for months in order to (carry out) the operation, but we couldn’t,” Kochavi reportedly said. 

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Gaza Genocide

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7. 

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 34,904 Palestinians have been killed, and 78,514 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children. 

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The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’. 

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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