Petraeus acknowledges al Qaeda cause is being strengthened by Israel’s actions
CENTCOM commander Gen David Petraeus, testifying before the US Senate Armed Services Committee, gave a grave warning about the wider impact of a conflict that has been the epicenter of Middle East hostilities, while also reinforcing the perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel. And Petraeus acknowledges al Qaeda is being strengthened by the conflict.
“The enduring hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors present distinct challenges to our ability to advance our interests in … [CENTCOM's area of responsibility]. Israeli-Palestinian tensions often flare into violence and large-scale armed confrontations.
“The conflict foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel.
“Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of U.S. partnerships with governments and peoples in the AOR and weakens the legitimacy of moderate regimes in the Arab world.
“Meanwhile, al-Qaeda and other militant groups exploit that anger to mobilize support. The conflict also gives Iran influence in the Arab world through its clients, Lebanese Hizballah and Hamas.”