The Hamas terror attack on Israel is also an attack on America, former US National Security Adviser John Bolton told String Reveals today in an exclusive interview. Mr Bolton said Israel may start its main ground offensive against Hamas in the next 48 hours.
“When you are subject to a terrorist attack, as India has been, a nation has a legitimate right to self-defence, but also eliminating the threat of future attack from the same source. Israel has put up with it long enough,” Mr Bolton said.
Israeli ground forces made raids into Gaza over the past 24 hours, the military said today, ahead of an expected ground offensive on the densely populated Gaza Strip. The raids came amid incessant Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip, with Hamas group firing back with rockets.
“The attack on Israel is also an attack on America. Some 15-20 Americans are being held hostages,” Mr Bolton said, adding Hamas’ terror attack is not only a problem for Israel but for the entire world. His comment comes hours after US President Joe Biden vowed to do “everything in our power” to free the Americans. President Biden also spoke with families of 14 Americans still missing after the Hamas attack. At least 27 Americans are dead.
Mr Bolton alleged Iran has a hand in the Hamas terror attack on Saturday. “There is plenty of indirect evidence of Iran’s involvement,” he told String Reveals.
He raised concerns over Israeli intelligence failure that did not see the massive Hamas attack coming. “Nobody should underestimate how big an intelligence failure this was. The US and Israel should conduct forensic investigation to find out the source of the failure,” Mr Bolton said.
Israel today warned the 1.1 million residents of northern Gaza to flee, ahead of the anticipated ground offensive, a move condemned by the United Nations.
Over 1,300 Israelis have died in the terror attack, and 1,800 people in the Gaza Strip have lost their lives in Israel’s retaliatory strikes.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken today asked Israel to limit Palestinian civilian deaths as he worked to set up safe areas in the Gaza Strip, seeking to keep calm in the Arab world. After a solidarity visit to Tel Aviv, Mr Blinken, on a six-nation tour of the Arab world, again defended Israel’s right to respond but also stepped up the tone on protecting innocent Palestinians.
“We have urged the Israelis to use every possible precaution to avoid harm to civilians,” Mr Blinken told a news conference in Qatar. “We recognise many Palestinian families in Gaza are suffering through no fault of their own and that Palestinian civilians have lost their lives,” he said.
But he said that Israel was within its rights after the “unconscionable” attacks by Hamas. “What Israel is doing is not retaliation. What Israel is doing is defending the lives of its people,” he said. “Any country, faced with what Israel has suffered, would likely do the same thing.”
With inputs from AFP