Eager to grasp a political opportunity that seemed to have been created by the murder of James Foley, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu got busy on Twitter saying that “Hamas is ISIS.”
But Netanyahu seems to have changed his mind because he now says that it is the close proximity of the threat from ISIS — in the opposite direction from Gaza — that necessitated the ceasefire with Hamas. Otherwise Israel could have continued bombing Gaza for 500 days instead of stopping after 50 days.
In other words, even if Netanyahu won’t be tweeting this, Israel accepted a ceasefire with Hamas in part because Hamas is not ISIS.
AFP reports: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel agreed to a permanent truce in its 50-day Gaza war with Hamas in order to keep focused on the threat from regional militants.
“We fought for 50 days and we could have fought for 500 days, but we are in a situation where the Islamic State is at the gates of Jordan, Al-Qaeda is in the Golan and Hezbollah is at the border with Lebanon,” Netanyahu said in an address on public television.
He was referring to Islamic State jihadists in Syria and Iraq — both neighbours of Jordan — Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra Front Syria rebels on the Israeli-annexed Golan and Lebanon’s Shiite movement Hezbollah.
“We decided not to get bogged down in Gaza, and we could have, but we decided to limit our objective and restore calm to Israeli citizens,” Netanyahu added.
His remarks come as the United States, Israel’s chief ally, is calling for a global coalition to fight the jihadists who have set up an Islamic “caliphate” in areas they have overrun in Syria and Iraq.