Former ambassador to Israel: Major Hamas attack was only a matter of time

Sulev Kannike.
Sulev Kannike. Source: ERR

A major attack on Israel by terror group Hamas was only a matter of time, former ambassador Sulev Kannike says.

Kannike was Estonian Ambassador to Israel 2016-2021.

He told ETV foreign affairs show "Välisilm" on Monday that: "Hamas was founded in 2007 during the Intifada (the Second Intifada of the 2000s – ed.).

"It has defined itself as a religious revolutionary party, one which speaks for the entire Palestinian people. For this reason, they never intended to remain in Gaza as some sort of group of local politicians, who deal with the water supply and siphon money from Qatar to pay the salaries of officials, or ask Israel about fishing rights," Kannike went on.

"In their minds' eye, they are bearers of the flag of the Palestinian revolution. So it was probably only a matter of time before something like this happened," he added.

Kannike said the footage saw from October 7 when the attacks began, horrified him, reminding him of the phenomenon of the "Comanche Moon" and other assaults on settlers in North America; in the-then Republic of Texas, and in some of other parts of the present-day U.S. which had previously belonged to Mexico, in the first half of the 19th century.

White settlers were attacked there, he said, drawing the parallel between them and present-day Israeli settlers, whose settlements are erected on the sites of former Arab villages, sites which can often be observed and pointed out to people, especially young people, from the tops of higher buildings in Gaza, Kannike said.

Even when the large-scale Israeli response is finished, the Palestinian issue will remain, he added.

Kannike said did not believe that the planned invasion of Gaza by the Israeli ground forces will be halted "If you follow the statements of American politicians, United States Secretary of State (ie. the U.S. foreign minister – ed.) Anthony Blinken, and President Biden, no one has explicitly said that Israel should abandon its ground operations [against Gaza]. Everyone stresses that it has the right to respond proportionately, and, most likely, destroy Hamas."

For the U.S. at the moment, the main task is to head off any escalation and expansion of hostilities, including the Lebanon-based Shia Islamist group Hezbollah, and Iran (Hezbollah adopted the model set out by Ayatollah Khomeini, who even chose the name of the organization, after the Iranian Revolution in 1979), becoming directly involved.

Hezbollah is not currently interested in expansion and escalation, he said, noting Israeli pledges for a general strike on Lebanon if it came to that.

"They don't want to go to war for Iran's interests now, in the worst economic crisis of 200 years," he went on.

As for Russia, Kannike said that that country has its resources tied down already in Syria, so there is no need to overestimate Russian ability to manipulate the situation in the Middle East; there is no danger of the U.S. cutting off aid to Ukraine as a result of developments in Israel and Gaza, Kannike added.

Estonia's current Ambassador to Israel is Veikko Kala.


Follow ERR News on Facebook and Twitter and never miss an update!

Editor: Andrew Whyte, Aleksander Krjukov

Source: 'Välisilm,' interviewer Tarmo Maiberg.

Hea lugeja, näeme et kasutate vanemat brauseri versiooni või vähelevinud brauserit.

Parema ja terviklikuma kasutajakogemuse tagamiseks soovitame alla laadida uusim versioon mõnest meie toetatud brauserist: