Former head of government Ehud Olmert gave an interview to WION TV and spoke about his vision of the situation in the region, his forecasts, and his strategies.

According to Olmert, there is no longer a need to expand military operations in Rafah, since Israel has already won a victory over Hamas, and this is what, according to the former prime minister, Israel should officially announce.

When asked why Olmert believes the decision to take military action in Rafah was wrong, the former prime minister replied:

“As you may have already heard, a catastrophe occurred in the center of the Gaza Strip, and Israel is responsible for the murder of hundreds of civilians seeking humanitarian aid. Egypt has already announced that the IDF, Israel, is responsible for the killing of one hundred civilians, and this has dealt a severe blow to relations with Egypt."

He referred to an incident that occurred at the end of February; when a crowd that had gathered tried to rob trucks before they arrived at their final stop, the truck drivers panicked and drove towards the crowd.

As a result of this and the stampede, about 100 Palestinians died. It is important to note that the IDF is escorted by trucks on military transport, but the truck drivers were not Israeli soldiers; according to Qatari TV channel Al-Jazeera, they were Palestinians.

“And this is just a rehearsal for what will happen when Israel launches a massive offensive on Rafah,” the former prime minister continued.

“That’s what scares me. And I want to ask the question: do we need the next phase of the war in Rafah, does it meet Israel's security interests, or will we consider the cost of this operation too high for Israeli interests? One of the consequences of this step will be the reaction of Egypt, which will not be happy. We need to understand how Israel can benefit from this operation. How many more Hamas terrorists we will kill, how many non-combatants, how many civilians may become victims of this operation, how many Israeli soldiers will die, and what will be the consequences of this operation."

“I think we need to weigh all this very carefully. We need to listen to the warnings of Joe Biden and the US administration and the demands of Egypt, and be very careful before we take each next step,” Ehud Olmert continued.

He also added that he does not believe that the operation in Rafah will make any difference to the situation regarding the hostages held by Hamas.

According to Olmert, it is necessary to continue negotiations on the release of the hostages with the mediation of Egypt and Qatar, and if an agreement is reached, its terms “will be very unpleasant for Israel.”

Hamas will demand a very high price; Israel will continue to fight “for a very long time: maybe a month, maybe two months, maybe three months.”

“And we will have to decide: if we don’t do this, we will lose all the hostages, we will see them, in the end, dead in shackles,” Olmert emphasized.

“And the lives of the hostages are the main principle for us, and therefore if the demand is a complete end to the war, we have to go for it."

“In any case, we have already won this military confrontation,” said Ehud Olmert.

“We have destroyed them, defeated them, they are bleeding, most of their bankers, commanders, and fighters are dead, according to our estimates, we have killed more than 10 thousand Hamas militants. This is an incredible military achievement. So we won, and we should already declare victory at this point and stop all this if it saves the lives of the hostages."