‘Simmering since 1948': Israel-Gaza conflict ‘most dangerous moment' since 1973 war, ex-CIA director tells LBC

9 October 2023, 18:59 | Updated: 9 October 2023, 19:05

Former CIA director John Brennan
Former CIA director John Brennan. Picture: LBC/Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas is the most "dangerous moment" faced by the Middle Eastern country since the 1973 war, the CIA's former director has told LBC.

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Speaking exclusively to LBC's Andrew Marr, John Brennan, who was Barack Obama's counter-terrorism adviser, said the attack by Hamas on Israel has been "simmering" since 1948 - when Israel, as a state, was created.

Mr Brennan told LBC: "We’ve had a number of Palestinian intifadas over the years that have led to the deaths of many innocent Israeli civilians.

"This has been simmering, quite frankly, from 1948, because that’s when the first Palestinians started to stream into the Gaza strip after the creation of the state of Israel.

"This has been just building and building."

Former CIA director Jack Brennan joins LBC's Andrew Marr

Mr Brennan went on: "Now, with the amount of Israelis who have been killed, and now the prospect there’s going to be an all-out war against Gaza, it certainly has more potential since any time since 73’ to engulf the region and in fact, include a global engagement."

Speaking about the conflict in 1973, Mr Brennan was referencing the Yom Kippur War, an armed conflict fought in October of that year between Israel and a coalition of Arab states, including Egypt and Syria.

Read More: What is Hamas and why is it in conflict with Israel? Key questions about the Israel-Gaza conflict

The war began on October 6, 1973, following a surprise attack against Israel on the Jewish holy day, Yom Kippur.

Almost 50 years to the day later, on Saturday, October 7, Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel.

Since then, at least 900 people have been killed in Israel, including 260 people who were massacred by Hamas gunmen at a music festival.

More than 900 people have been killed in Israel since Saturday's surprise attack by Hamas
More than 900 people have been killed in Israel since Saturday's surprise attack by Hamas. Picture: Getty

According to Mr Brennan, the outbreak of violence in Israel could benefit Vladimir Putin, telling LBC that global efforts and attention are likely to be diverted away from Ukraine.

This could allow Putin the space to act in Ukraine without the global spotlight of attention on Russian forces.