US 'experts' say bring Hamas, Hizballah into national armies

Sunday, July 04, 2010 |  Israel Today Staff

An intelligence report published by US Central Command (CENTCOM) and cited by the journal Foreign Policy last week suggested that Hamas and Hizballah should be officially integrated into the armies of the Palestinian Authority and Lebanon, respectively.

The CENTCOM study referred to both terror groups as "pragmatic and opportunistic," and insisted that the policy of excluding them from dealings with the PA and Lebanon was only driving Hamas and Hizballah toward more radical behavior.

"Failing to recognize their separate grievances and objectives will result in continued failure in moderating their behavior," according to CENTCOM.

The authors of the report also largely faulted Israel for the more violent outbursts of Hamas and Hizballah in recent years. They claimed that it was Israeli policy toward Gaza that resulted in the massive Hamas rocket barrages that sparked Operation Cast Lead, and that Israel's initiating the Second Lebanon War in response to a deadly Hizballah cross-border raid in which three Israeli soldiers were abducted was an overreaction that ultimately drove the group into the arms of Iran.

What the report left out was that there was no embargo against Gaza until Hamas seized control there and escalated rocket attacks against Israel. It also failed to note that both Hamas and Hizballah have publicly dedicated themselves to the full destruction of the Jewish state. Israelis insist that is an objective they simply cannot recognize, as the CENTCOM officers suggested.

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