Israel PM vows to carry on with Gaza military campaign despite international pressure
Netanyahu stressed the missions of Israel’s war on Hamas: “Complete victory, to destroy Hamas.
Netanyahu dismissed “a lot of incorrect reports” about imminent agreements to free some or all of the roughly 240 people being held, adding that “as of now there is no deal,” according to the Times of Israel. The PM stated that should a deal be reached, he would inform the Israeli public.
“We want to get back all the hostages. We’re doing the utmost to bring back the most possible, including in stages, and we are united on this,” Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu added that Israel “eliminated thousands of terrorists,” including senior commanders, and destroyed command posts and tunnels. “We’re moving forward with full force,” he said.
He mentioned that while Israel enjoyed US support for the ongoing war against Hamas, “there is growing pressure against us, in the US and elsewhere.”
“Netanyahu listed all the ways Israel has ignored demands from many quarters, including pressure not to launch its ground invasion, not to go into Gaza City, and not to go into Shifa Hospital. Israel was undeterred,” the Times of Israel reported.
“They also pressed us to agree to a full ceasefire. We refused. And I made clear that we would only agree to a temporary ceasefire and only for the return of our hostages,” Netanyahu said.
He stressed: “Together with my colleagues, I rebuff the pressure and make clear to the world: We will continue to fight until victory. Until we destroy Hamas. And until we bring our hostages home.”
Netanyahu added: “We are insisting on our essential security and diplomatic interests… in the face of heavy opposition. When our enemies and our friends recognize our firm stance, when they hear it in international media interviews, and in discussions with leaders, we obtain the necessary room for maneuver to continue the operation. This cannot be taken for granted.”
White House national security spokesperson John Kirby has said on Tuesday: “Hamas actions did not lessen Israel’s responsibilities to protect civilians in Gaza. And this is something that we obviously are going to continue to have an active conversation with our counterparts about.”
The White House added that Deputy Assistant to the President and Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa, Brett McGurk had traveled to Europe and the Middle East to “discuss Israel’s security needs, the imperative of protecting civilians in the course of military operations, as well as ongoing efforts to secure the release of hostages, and the need to rein in violent extremist settlers in the West Bank.
Netanyahu said that allowing humanitarian aid to Gaza was essential to continue the war against Hamas, and said without it there would be less international support for Israel’s military campaign. “Even our best friends would be hard-pressed to maintain their support for us in the long-term and that would make it hard for us to complete the war,” he said.
He added: “The [Israeli army] and the Shin Bet recommended that the cabinet accept the American request to allow two fuel tankers a day to enter the southern Gaza Strip.”
“This is a minimal emergency quantity of fuel — fuel to operate water pumps and sewage pumps, without which there would be an eruption of epidemics that would harm residents of the Strip and [Israeli army] soldiers.”
Netanyahu stressed the missions of Israel’s war on Hamas: “Complete victory, to destroy Hamas. To return the hostages. And to ensure that after victory, Gaza will never again constitute a threat to Israeli citizens. I will not allow into Gaza any party that supports terrorism, pays terrorists or their families, or educates their children to murder Jews and [to seek] the destruction of Israel,” he vowed, in reference to the Palestinian Authority. “Without that revolution in the civilian governance of Gaza, it’s only a matter of time until Gaza returns to terror, and I won’t agree to that.”
The Palestinian authorities have announced on Sunday that the death toll due to Israeli aggression has reached at least 12,012 and over 32,300 injured according to the Palestinian ministry of health.
Israeli warplanes launched a series of violent airstrikes against various areas in the northern besieged Gaza Strip, according to Palestinian news agency WAFA. The shelling targeted several areas in the Jabalia refugee camp, civilian homes in Beit Lahia, the vicinity of residential towers in Gaza’s Sheikh Zayed City, and the vicinity of the Indonesian hospital.
As for the potential deal between Israel and Hamas on a temporary ceasefire, the White House rejected the notion. The White House spokesperson said Washington continued to work on establishing a deal between both sides, but one hasn’t been reached yet.
The Washington Post had reported on Saturday that a Qatari-brokered deal between Israel and Hamas had been reached establishing a ceasefire for five-days in exchange for the release of 50 hostages.