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June 2, 2021 Special Dispatch No. 9370

Saudi Journalist: Israel Should Respond To Hamas Missiles By Attacking Iranian Targets In The Region

June 2, 2021
Iran, Saudi Arabia, Palestine | Special Dispatch No. 9370

In a May 27, 2021 article titled "Netanyahu, I Have a Proposal for You, "Prof. Safouq Al-Shammari, a Saudi journalist, physician and researcher, urges Israel to adopt a new policy that will rein in Hamas and change the rules of the game, both to Israel's benefit and to the benefit of the Arab countries. Specifically, he recommends that Israel respond to the launching of Hamas missiles by attacking Iranian assets in neighboring countries. This, he says, will stop the needless fighting instigated by Iran and protect the lives of civilians, both Palestinian and Israeli.

Writing that Israel contributes to the stability of the region and plays a vital role in confronting Iran's growing military power, Al-Shammari stresses that Israel's focus should be on the head – i.e. on Iran – and not on the tail – i.e. Hamas. Such focus, he explains, will cause Iran to restrain Hamas, thus ending the rocket attacks on Israel and restoring Israel's deterrent power. Furthermore, Israel will gain international and Arab support as the one combating the destruction sown in the region by Iran.


Safouq Al-Shammari (Source: Nippon.com)

The following are translated excerpts from Al-Shammari's article:[1]

"The title of this article may seem somewhat strange, especially since [I am addressing] a prime minister with whom I tend to disagree. However I believe that this disagreement enables us to be more objective, since, when presenting a position to someone you disagree with, emotions play no part. Someone might [also] ask, What is the point of presenting a proposal to the prime minister of a country with which you have no relations? The answer is simple: We have a specific [shared] interest, which I will discuss below…

"[The results] of the last war in Gaza were lamentable and destructive, especially for the civilians. This war was between Israel and Iran's proxy in Gaza, the Hamas movement, and it is possible that neither side suffered as much as the civilians on both sides. Israel bombed thousands of [targets] in densely-populated Gaza, and Hamas launched thousands of rockets. Numerous civilians on both sides were injured and killed.

"What is amazing is that, despite adopting a very pragmatic policy, Israel or more precisely, Netanyahu, or Bibi, as he is known does not attempt to punish the chief instigator [responsible] for this ongoing war, i.e. Iran! There is no doubt that, without Iranian incitement, this war would have been shorter, with less damage to civilians and infrastructure. [In fact,] this war could have been over before it began if Israel had performed a simple action, which could prevent all future wars and bring an end to the suffering of the poor civilians, who have nothing to do with these wars! Very simply, what will happen if Israel decides that every rocket fired by Hamas will be met with an attack on Iranian targets in Syria and elsewhere? After all, the Israelis have a list of thousands of Iranian targets in the area. The result will be that Iran will be the one restraining Hamas from launching missiles and [thus] preventing the fighting.

"[What actually happened was that] Israel attacked [Iran's] arm, namely Hamas, harmed the civilians among whom Hamas operatives take cover, while disregarding the head, which is Iran. But  if,  every time [Hamas launched rockets, Israel]  attacked Iranian targets, the world would not have conducted [smear] campaigns against Israel, and perhaps even the Palestinians themselves would have supported these actions and perceived them as revenge for the thousands of Palestinians Iran has killed in Syria. Arab countries would not condemn these actions either, and even the Abraham Accords would be strengthened. Israel would be presented as the country that fights the destruction sown by Iran in the region, and the picture would thus reverse itself: the sweeping Arab and international anger at Israel would turn into satisfaction! The Israeli home front would [also] enjoy quiet, and the Israeli citizens would be protected.

"Israel relies on the principle of deterrence in its military operations, but this time it lost some of its power of deterrence, so much so that Iran [dared to] launch an attack drone against it. If every rocket fired by Hamas was met with a similar Israeli rocket fired on the Iranian forces in Syria or elsewhere, this would be the best possible application of the principle of deterrence. Because Iran is not interested in Hamas or the Palestinians. For Iran, the destruction of Gaza and [even] the death of all Hamas leaders are a mere blip. But the minute the fire burns Iran's hands, it will understand how boiling hot the situation is!

"Again we ask: Why is it important for us to advise the prime minister of Israel? First of all, it is important for us to protect the poor civilians on both sides from [the damages of] war: both those in overcrowded Gaza and also those in Israel. One cannot condemn the killing of civilians and children in Gaza without condemning the killing of civilians in Israel. Second, we don't want another war, or a constant repetition of the same scenario: Iran incites Hamas, Gaza is destroyed, the Arab countries finance its reconstruction, while some of the funds go to the leaders of Hamas and their relatives, who enjoy themselves in hotels while the suffering of the Gazans continues. Thus the money of the Arabs is wasted over and over again for the destruction and rebuilding of Gaza.

"Third, it appears that Israel plays a vital role in the war against Iran's actions in the region though its secret and military operations. These operations are vital to maintaining the stability in the region in the face of the abominable Iranian conduct. An Israeli focus on Iran is crucial at this stage, and is preferable to trying to preoccupy Israel with side campaigns against Hamas and other elements, especially when the U.S. administration is pandering to Iran and trying, along with its allies, to clasp it in a bear hug, which enables its current conduct.

"If the Israeli leaders think that an attack in Gaza and an attempt to assassinate some of the local leaders of Hamas… will teach Hamas a lesson, then they have lost their way. Far from it, Hamas will continue to be the Iranian tail, which will grow ever longer, while the brain that does the planning and the leaders who reap the benefits remain outside [the circle of fighting]. Israel will gain nothing but condemnations for its attacks on Gaza and a worldwide media campaign against it. It will [all] be a waste of time and a distraction from the real problem, which is Iran. However, if the Israeli security apparatuses and army direct against Iran the efforts they devoted to the war on Gaza, the results will be much more positive, and perhaps the Americans will awaken from the illusion that concessions can be made [to Iran], and [understand] that there are other ways to stop the Iranian nuclear program."

 

[1] Al-Watan (Saudi Arabia), May 27, 2021.

 

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