“It will last for generations.” American intelligence warns of threats related to the Gaza war

US Director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines, warned on Monday that the war in Gaza has contributed to the emergence of new security threats to the United States from terrorist groups, due to Washington’s support for Israel.

Haines revealed, at an annual hearing on global security threats, that this crisis has stimulated violence in a range of actors around the world, noting that although it is too early to know the ramifications and effects of this, the conflict in Gaza is likely to carry “terrorist threats.” “It may last for generations.”

She explained, according to what she reported:Washington PostThe October 7 attack by Hamas on Israel led to the emergence of new threats to the United States from groups linked to Al-Qaeda and ISIS, while Iranian-backed armed groups used “the conflict as an opportunity to pursue their own agenda” against the United States.

She added: “We have also seen how these events have inspired individuals to carry out anti-Semitic and Islamophobic actions around the world.”

The security official made her statements before the Senate Intelligence Committee, in an open hearing in which senior leaders of US intelligence agencies provided testimony regarding security challenges around the world.

Haines continued, “The conflict in Gaza also poses a challenge to many key Arab partners, who face public sentiment against Israel and the United States because of the death and destruction in the Strip, but who also view Washington as a mediator best positioned to end the war before it spreads deep into the region.” .

For his part, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), William J. Burns, lawmakers on the latest developments in the negotiations for a ceasefire agreement in Gaza, which will be accompanied by ensuring the flow of humanitarian aid and the release of hostages held by Hamas, in exchange for the release of Palestinian detainees in Israel.

Burns attended the hearing following his return from the last round of negotiations in Doha, after having traveled to the Middle East 8 times in recent months to participate in the talks aimed at freeing more than 100 hostages still kidnapped in Gaza.

Burns spoke with cautious hope of the possibility that the ceasefire agreement could be “the first step towards what may be more permanent arrangements over time.”

He added: “I do not think that anyone can guarantee success…but I believe that the alternative to it will be the continued suffering of innocent civilians in Gaza under desperate conditions, and the suffering of the hostages and their families also under extremely desperate conditions…and the same goes for all of us.”

According to the Washington Post, intelligence officials tried to stay away from the controversy surrounding the war that ravaged American politics and put the Biden administration in a difficult position, which is to support an ally facing increasing condemnation from the United Nations and international human rights groups, as well as from American voters and liberals, in light of the high number of Civilian deaths and harsh humanitarian conditions in the Strip.

The White House warned Israel against moving its operations to the city of Rafah, along the border with Egypt in the far south of Gaza. Israeli forces view the city, where up to 1.5 million Palestinians fleeing bombing are gathered, as the last stronghold of Hamas fighters that they must neutralize.

During the hearing, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, a staunch supporter of Israel, urged Burns and Haynes to refute critics’ claims that Israel is “annihilating the Palestinian people” with its military campaign.

The two officials refused. Burns said that while the administration understands Israel’s “need” to respond to the brutal attack on October 7, “I believe we must all keep in mind the enormous toll this attack has had on innocent civilians in Gaza.”

“Is Israel starving children in Palestine or Gaza?” Cotton asked the intelligence official, apparently referring to reports by the United Nations and humanitarian relief organizations, as well as some Democratic lawmakers, that Israel’s refusal to allow the necessary volume of food aid into Gaza is causing preventable famine.

“The truth is, there are children who are starving,” Burns replied. “They are suffering from malnutrition, as a result of humanitarian aid being unable to reach them. It is very difficult to distribute humanitarian aid effectively, unless there is a ceasefire.”

The officials, who included the director of the FBI, the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the State Department’s Office of Intelligence and Research, spoke of a wide range of challenges, from relations with China to the spread of artificial intelligence and the continuing threat of espionage and cyberwarfare.

US intelligence services stressed that the United States faces an “increasingly fragile global order” amid pressures caused by competition between major powers, cross-border challenges, and regional conflicts.

“An ambitious and anxious China, a confrontational Russia, some regional powers, such as Iran, and non-state actors with increasing capabilities all represent a challenge to the long-standing rules of the international order,” the agencies said in the 2024 annual report issued by a US intelligence panel on threat assessment. about the superiority of the United States within it.”

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