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"Russia made a mistake by deciding after all to transfer to Syria of s-300"
Material posted: Publication date: 11-12-2018

The Israeli air force launched a strike on Syria after the supply of s-300, with coordination between the Russian and the Israeli military continues. Israel accused Iran and Syria that they provoked the recent attacks on Israeli territory from the Gaza strip. What is behind these events, the correspondent of “Kommersant” Marianna Belenkaya said the former Deputy chief of the General staff of the Israel defense forces Uzi Dayan. It is also known that 15 years he served in the elite special forces unit, headed by the national security Council and nephew of the legendary military and statesman Moshe Dayana.

— The first issue of the next aggravation of the situation around the Gaza strip. During last Friday's demonstrations was killed several Palestinians, Israel has launched dozens of missiles, the Israeli army retaliated. This is the seventh exchange of blows since the beginning of the year. And at the same time all year we hear, on the one hand, the negotiations between Israel and Hamas on a truce, and with another — about another possible large-scale military campaign in the Gaza strip. Which scenario is more likely?

— Both of you. In the middle East you should always stick to two strategies — trying to negotiate and at the same time to use force. Israel is much stronger than Hamas seized power in Gaza ten years ago. And we can destroy Gaza. But don't do that, and try to negotiate a truce. And not because Hamas has been a good partner for any agreement. Hamas is the problem. But in order to destroy Hamas, we need to go inside the Gaza strip. Usually the Israeli government does not enter into the war until, while public opinion is not ready. While most will not say: we are fed up and agree with the possible losses, but should solve the problem.

And it really solve?

Yes. You can destroy most of the leaders of Hamas or throw the regime of Hamas from Gaza, as once we threw Yasser Arafat out of Lebanon, which ultimately led to negotiations in Oslo. So anything is possible, but it will have to pay a higher price: can be large losses among the Israelis. And the government does not want to engage in such a war as long as the majority of Israelis will not agree. Now is not the situation. Yes, we don't like what is happening around Gaza, but Hamas is very neat. He does not attack the city in the center of Israel, although it may do so. The Israelis virtually no losses. Over the past six months, only one Israeli was killed.

— How many Israelis must die, that Israel launched a ground operation in the Gaza strip?

— You want numbers? All depends on the situation. Public opinion will rapidly change if there will be losses. The current situation we do not like, but we can live with it. From the current situation the Palestinians suffer more than Israelis. We saw this with the example of what happened over the weekend. From Gaza were fired dozens of rockets into Israel. Most were intercepted. In Israel, all alive, and in Gaza (as a result of retaliation.— “B”) has died. If the existing situation will change, they will die for the Israelis, Israel will inflict an even more powerful attack on Gaza. But it's not a very good solution in the long run, because if Hamas will continue to exist, it would be a victory. Already had surgery, when people were killed, everything was destroyed, and Hamas claimed victory. But in the long run we win. Israel will develop to become stronger. And the people in the Gaza strip will remain far behind. This is what happens when people allow the terrorist organization to control their lives. Yet what really to do now— or to negotiate, or to cause pinpoint strikes on leaders of Hamas without entering Gaza.

— The latest attacks on Israel rejected Hamas, and Islamic Jihad, and the Israeli army claims that the actions of this movement are Iran and Syria.

— It is. But for all that is happening in the Gaza strip, is responsible Hamas. No matter who was shooting. This "Hamasland". And if Hamas didn't want Gaza attacked Israel nothing would have happened.

— And why Iran, in principle, to intervene in the situation in the Gaza strip?

— Iran builds its outposts across the Middle East: in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Gaza in particular. Here Tehran is working through Hamas and Islamic Jihad. And if he decides at some point to fight against Israel, he will be, whose hands do the job. From the riots in Gaza, everybody wins: Iran, Hamas, Abu Mazen (Mahmud Abbas.— “Kommersant”).

— Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas would return to Gaza under its control and to restore unity of Palestinians. Is it real?

Gas was in his hands. We gave Gaza on a silver saucer (in 2005 Israel unilaterally withdrew from the Gaza strip.— “Kommersant”). But he lost it. If there were free elections on the West Bank of the Jordan river, then Hamas would get there 85-90% of the vote. Abu Mazen is no longer a real player on the Palestinian stage.

Who's the player?

In Gaza — Hamas and West Bank — Israel. Abu Mazen maintained only by Israeli bayonets. It does not control the West Bank.

— Could Iran, giving orders Islamic Jihad to attack Israel to divert attention from what is happening in Syria?

— Iran wants to implement terror and to increase its influence in the region. Iran is a problem for the entire Middle East. And our goal is that this problem was not there. Why puzzle over what they wanted or did not want to achieve this time in Gaza? These details are unimportant.

— Do you think that Israeli strikes on Syria may help to contain Iran?

Is not a question of deterrence. We put a stop to Iran's attempts to transfer strategic weapons to Hezbollah. And he will bear the loss in certain circumstances. Please note, even the Iranians themselves began to go out with slogans "We do not care about Gaza and Palestine, we care about Iran."

— How can you comment on reports that Israel had provided assistance in Syria of the terrorist organization "dzhebhat an-Nusra" (banned in Russia)?

— This is nonsense. Yes, we helped the wounded, children, without asking what forces they belong. We are not interfering in Syrian Affairs and do not help there are no forces, except the Druze. We have no desire to influence the situation in Syria. But, by the way, although it won't help Bashar al-Assad (President of Syria.— “Kommersant”), we still preferred to deal with government and not with factions.

— You were dealing with Syrians know well the country. How do you see a possible scenario?

— No one knows. And not only about what will happen in Syria. The situation in the middle East is unstable. You can say what will happen in Jordan? Even king Abdullah did not know. What will be in Egypt in five years? In Iraq? In Saudi Arabia?

— And in Israel?

We are the only stable country in the region. The economy is growing, we are strong militarily.

— After it was shot down by a Russian aircraft in the skies over Syria, relations between Israel and Russia is experiencing not the best period...

Everything will be fine. What happened? A Russian plane was shot down by Syrian military with Russian weapons. And I think that Russia made the mistake of deciding after all to transfer to Syria of s-300. But we'll get through this. This is not a new weapon. It is Greece and Cyprus. We have long learned to deal with him. But what is the idea of transferring advanced weapons to the Syrians? So they were even more productive in bringing down Russian planes? I don't understand this idea. All of Russia's claims should have been addressed to the Syrians. Well, maybe next time on the results of this situation, we warn the Russians before the attack a minute earlier than was done so far. But we didn't down the plane. We attacked the Iranian facility in Syria and will continue to do so in the future. Iran — a disaster for all. Imagine what would happen if Iran all the currently existing in the region the conflict possessed nuclear power. Chaos. We believe that Iran needs to be squeezed out of the region in General and Syria in particular.

— Is it possible?

Yes. Russia can do it.

— But Russia sees Iran as a partner in Syria and other regional issues...

— If Russia wants, we will live with this problem. Will not be an easy life with Iran in Syria. Syria disintegrated, Iran does not care about Syria. It seeks hegemony in the middle East. And I don't think that in the interests of Russia, Iran to become stronger, acquire nuclear weapons. Now cooperation with Iran serves Russian interests. But I don't think it will in the long run.

— If Syria will be restored stable situation, there is a possibility for the conclusion of a peace Treaty between it and Israel?

— Why not? But we are not going to give them the Golan heights. This issue is irreversible. And to blame the Syrians, because they were too stubborn. I was the head of the team responsible for security issues at the talks with Syria in the early 1990s. And then they told our Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin after one week of negotiations, nothing happens...


— They didn't want peace. It wasn't their obsession. It was an opportunity that they thought would pay US. All of the talks in the middle East nothing comes out when you interfere US. Each party begins to negotiate with the Americans, not each other.

— What do you think about the new U.S. plan for a Palestinian-Israeli settlement or "deal of the century", as he calls the American President?

— I don't think there's a plan. If Donald trump can reach a deal, fine. But I assure you, once we see the plan, the Palestinians immediately rejected. We can accept or reject, but it doesn't matter, because the Palestinians will never accept something that begins with the words "stop the conflict, no more claims." A solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is important to us, but we have no partner with whom we could negotiate.

But in General this conflict very few people care in the region. It is not important for Syria to Qatar, to Saudi Arabia. No one else thinks like (ex-President of the United States.— “B”) Barack Obama, who said that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is the root of all problems in the middle East. Life has shown that it is not. War not happen because of this. And the last visit of our Prime Minister in Oman showed that now formed the new middle East with new dividing lines. Not the Arabs and Israelis, Muslims and Jews. Now on the one hand were countries who do not want to see Iran have nuclear weapons, and fighting terrorism and on the other those who are cooperating with Iran.

Tags: war , Syria , assessment

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