Former CIA director David Petraeus: Israel should finish the job, ‘destroy’ Hamas

‘The key now is to not stop until Hamas is fully destroyed,’ Petraeus tells conference

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Former CIA Director and retired US General David H. Petraeus speaks at a special event of the Kyiv Security Forum, Kyiv, Ukraine, September 05, 2023 For security reasons, the event was held in the underground parking lot of a Kyiv hotel

Former CIA Director David Petraeus said on Thursday that Israel should continue its counteroffensive in Gaza “until Hamas is fully destroyed.”  

Speaking at the annual Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) conference in Tel Aviv — held five months to the day after Hamas’ Oct.7 attack in Israel, Petraeus commended IDF ground troops for doing “an excellent job… The key now is to not stop until Hamas is fully destroyed,” he said. 

The former CIA chief went on to say that Israel must ensure that Gazans are receiving humanitarian aid, including “hospitals functioning and that construction will return.” 

After Hamas is defeated, “then you have to secure the people,” he said. “I absolutely agree with our government in the United States that we must allow humanitarian assistance in.”

While emphasizing that Hamas must be “fully destroyed,” Petraeus expressed support for an eventual two-state solution — calling it the only stable solution for peace with Palestinians and Saudi normalization.

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