Fmr President George W. Bush to Fox: Iran Driving Violence in Israel and Gaza

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Former President George W. Bush told Fox News on Wednesday the current conflict between Israel and Gaza is “Iranian influence targeted toward Israel,” and an attempt to dissolve the Trump administration-brokered normalization deals between the Jewish state and Arab nations.

Bush also rejected the Biden administration’s assertion the two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was “the only way to have a long-term outcome that’s peaceful and lasting,” and said it would be “very difficult at this stage.”

He went on: “I wish, obviously, all of us should hope there’s not violence, but what I think you’re seeing playing out is Iranian influence targeted toward Israel, and trying to break up alliances that were formed in the previous administration called the Abraham Accords.”

The Trump administration led four historic normalization agreements, the so-called Abraham Accords, between Israel and Muslim and Arab states, including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco.

“Once the sit-in settles down, and if those Abraham Accords hold, it will make it easier to establish peace,” Bush told Fox. “But right now, those who don’t want peace are provoking and attacking Israel, and Israel is, of course, responding for national security reasons.”

“It is going to require the Arab world deciding that peace with Israel is important for solving the Palestinian issue,” Bush said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday said a drone downed by the Israeli military earlier this week was launched by Iran and was armed with explosives. Iran is also the main sponsor of Hamas, and pays for and delivers its rockets.

President Joe Biden told Netanyahu on Wednesday “he expected a significant de-escalation today on the path to a cease-fire,” according to a White House readout of the call.

Netanyahu responded by saying while he “greatly appreciates the support of the American president,” Israel would continue the operation until its goal is achieved: to bring the quiet and security back to the citizens of Israel.”

Bush told Fox: “I think the U.S. does have a role in trying to deal with violence,” and later added it also “has a role as a peacemaker.”

“You’ve got to understand that Israel is going to defend itself. So long as there is a threat to their people, they will defend itself.”

Addressing the Biden administration’s attempts to reenter the nuclear deal with Iran, Bush cautioned the U.S. to keep in mind Iranian hegemonic aspirations and not just its nuclear ambitions.

“Any deal that is done has got to not only focus on its nuclear capabilities, but also its influence in the Middle East,” Bush continued. “And you know, any deal, you’ve got to keep in mind the dangers of an aggressive Iran to our allies, and to stability, so it has to be a comprehensive look.”

“I think the best approach with regard to Iran is to understand that their influence is dangerous for world peace, that they are very much involved with extremist movements in Lebanon and Syria and Yemen, and they are aiming to spread their influence,” Bush told Fox News.

More than 4,000 rockets have been launched at Israel from the Hamas-ruling Gaza Strip over the past ten days. The Israel Defense Forces has carried out massive retaliatory strikes against terror targets in the coastal enclave. According to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry, more than 230 Palestinians been killed, 59 of them children.

Israel says more than 150 were terrorists from Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror groups. 42 Palestinians were killed in a single strike on Sunday. Many were also killed by errant Hamas rockets. At least 450 rockets were misfired and landed within Gaza itself.

Twelve people in Israel, including a five-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl, have been killed by rockets, and hundreds more have been injured.

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