‘It Makes No Sense’: Experts Puzzled By Biden Admin’s Claim That Rafah Invasion Wouldn’t Help Israel Defeat Hamas

The Biden administration’s argument that Israel’s invasion of Rafah will not lead to Israel’s defeat of Hamas or secure a hostage release deal “makes no logical sense,” multiple experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

White House National Security Press Secretary John Kirby Said On Thursday, Israel said it could not achieve a “sustained and lasting defeat” against Hamas by invading Rafah and could jeopardize ongoing negotiations to free Gaza hostages. He also claimed that there was. Experts told the DCNF that this claim is baseless, as a military operation is the only way to pressure Hamas into a hostage deal and ultimately achieve victory over the terrorist organization. Told. (Related: House Speaker Mike Johnson says he hopes Biden’s latest announcement on aid to Israel is a ‘watershed moment’)

“We are certain that the lasting defeat of Hamas remains Israel’s goal, and we share that goal with them,” Kirby said. “I crashed into Rafa, [Biden’s] That goal will not be advanced and a sustained and lasting defeat of Hamas will not be achieved. ”

John Kirby, the President’s National Security and Public Affairs Adviser, answers questions during a press conference at the White House in Washington, USA, May 6, 2024, Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

Two high-level defense experts and former U.S. officials told DCNF that Kirby’s ideas were wrong and that the only way to definitively defeat Hamas was a military operation.

“Kirby is wrong,” Mark Dubowitz, CEO of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a Washington-based defense think tank, told DCNF. “To date, only a patient, well-planned and well-executed operation by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has succeeded in destroying Hamas and freeing the hostages.”

“You can’t defeat Hamas with just good vibes and good words. You defeat them on the battlefield with ammunition and kinetic actions,” Gabriel Noronha, Polaris National Security Director and former State Department official, told DCNF.

Kirby and State Department Spokesman Matthew mirror The administration has said it believes that if Israel chooses to invade Rafah, it would weaken Israel’s lead in negotiations to secure an agreement to release hostages currently held by Hamas. . Israel has been negotiating with Hamas for months through international mediators, including the United States, to reach an agreement that would allow a temporary ceasefire in the Gaza Strip in exchange for its release.

“We actually think that Operation Rafah will weaken Israel’s position in this negotiation and in the document as a whole,” Miller said on May 9. (Related: State Department says Hamas stole tons of aid)

“If I were Mr. Sinwar and I was sitting in a tunnel, looking at innocent people who were victims of a large-scale combat operation in Rafah, I would have little incentive to participate in negotiations. Not at the table,” Kirby told reporters, referring to Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas’ military branch.

Reuters/Amir Cohen TPX Picture of the Day

On May 7, 2024, Israeli military tanks conduct exercises near the Israel-Gaza border in southern Israel, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.Reuters/Amir Cohen TPX Picture of the Day

Experts told DCNF that Hamas is unlikely to be willing to proceed with a hostage deal unless Israel invades Rafah because it is not concerned about the welfare of Palestinians in the area. The I.D.F. accused A terrorist group that uses civilians as human shields and hides in densely populated areas.

“That’s ridiculous. It goes against all the evidence that we’ve actually seen in this conversation,” Noronha told DCNF. “There’s nothing in what the White House has put out that gives them any leeway to justify what they’re saying on stage.”

Without military pressure from Israel, Hamas would have less incentive to take hostages and reach a cease-fire agreement, Shoshana Brien, a defense analyst and senior director of the Jewish Policy Center, told DCNF. After intense stress from Israeli forces, Hamas agreed to a one-time ceasefire in November, but the deal quickly collapsed in December.

“The only time Hamas ever seriously negotiated was in the early days, when Israel’s outrage was clear and it was accepted by most of the world,” Baylen told DCNF. “Hamas leadership, determining that it was likely to be defeated on the battlefield, granted a ceasefire and released the hostages. Since then, the Biden administration has taken steps to rein in Israel, including withholding Congress-authorized weapons. I have been trying to

“Hamas is not stupid. As long as the Biden administration works to rein in Israel, Hamas doesn’t have to give anything,” Bailen said. (Related: US accuses Iranian nationals of launching massive cyberwar campaign against US targets)

Experts who spoke to DCNF also disputed Kirby’s assertion that Israel did not need to invade Rafah because Hamas has been largely neutralized by Israeli forces since October 7.

Reuters/Ibrahim Abu Mustafa

Palestinian fighters from the armed wing of Hamas participate in a military parade commemorating the anniversary of the 2014 war with Israel near the border in the central Gaza Strip, July 19, 2023.Reuters/Ibrahim Abu Mustafa

“It’s like saying, ‘Oh, I had chemotherapy for a month.’ My cancer is 80 percent cured, so I’m good to go. I’m leaving now.’ Again, that doesn’t make sense. ” Noronha told DCNF.

“When someone declares they want to kill you, they train to kill you, they arm you to kill, and if the adults don’t finish the job in this generation, the children will do it in the next generation.” It teaches kids what they’re expected to do. They’re the next generation,” Brien told DCNF. “When they say ‘100 October 7ths,’ they’re not kidding.”

The Israeli military on Tuesday seized control of the Rafah border on the Egyptian border, saying it was a key checkpoint to stop the flow of weapons to Gaza. according to In the Wall Street Journal. The IDF has moved further into Rafah’s eastern corridor, but has not yet entered the city of Rafah, where the majority of the more than 1 million refugees live. according to To the Associated Press.

Biden said on CNN. interview The administration said Wednesday that it did not see Israel crossing any red lines in Rafah, but warned that there would be consequences if Israel launched a full-scale invasion, including withholding military aid.

“If Israel had listened to the White House.” [since the war began]18 Hamas terrorist battalions still exist, dozens of Hamas terrorist cadres are still alive to direct terrorist operations, and dozens of Israeli and foreign hostages still continue to languish in Hamas captivity. , Hamas will still be responsible for the next terrorist plot. Oct. 7,” Dubowitz told DCNF. “The Biden administration’s pressure on Israel will only prolong the war and suffering on both sides.”

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