Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed that Israel will take control of the ‘overall security’ of the Gaza Strip after his country’s war with Hamas.
Reacting to calls for a ceasefire, Netanyahu said there would be no letup in the war to destroy the terror group.
The Hamas-run health ministry says the death toll from Israel’s bombardment of the territory launched in response to the October 7 attack surged past 10,000 people yesterday.
More than 1.5 million people in Gaza have fled their homes for other parts of the territory in a desperate search for cover.
Netanyahu told ABC News the war would continue until Israel had restored ‘overall security’ control of Gaza, adding that Gaza should be governed by ‘those who don’t want to continue the way of Hamas’.
‘Israel will, for an indefinite period, have the overall security responsibility,’ he said. ‘When we don’t have that security responsibility, what we have is the eruption of Hamas terror on a scale that we couldn’t imagine.’
While key Israeli ally like the United States is seeking a humanitarian ‘pause’ in the fighting, several countries and UN agencies have repeatedly called for a ceasefire.
But Netanyahu has resisted the calls so far, and in his comments said he had no intention of changing his approach.
‘There will be no ceasefire – general ceasefire – in Gaza, without the release of our hostages,’ Netanyahu said.
‘As far as tactical, little pauses – an hour here, an hour there – we’ve had them before. I suppose we’ll check the circumstances in order to enable goods – humanitarian goods – to come in or our hostages, individual hostages, to leave,’ he added.
‘But I don’t think there’s going to be a general ceasefire. It will hamper the war effort, it will hamper our effort to get our hostages out, because the only thing that works on these criminals in Hamas is the military pressure we’re exerting.’
In its October 7 attack, Hamas gunmen took more than 240 people hostage, including children and elderly people, in Gaza. The attack prompted Israel’s massive bombardment of Gaza and an intensifying ground offensive.
Asked if there would be a pause if Hamas agrees to release the hostages, Netanyahu said ‘there would be a ceasefire for that purpose, and we’re waiting for that to happen. It hasn’t happened so far.’
Asked if Israel knows where the hostages are inside Gaza, the PM said while the country has some intelligence, ‘I’m not sure it’s wise to share it here with Hamas.’
Netanyahu’s comments came after the White House said the Israeli leader had discussed potential ‘tactical pauses’ in a phone call with US President Joe Biden.
However, no agreements were announced and the pair did not broach the possibility of a ceasefire, according to reports.
In his conversation with Biden, Netanyahu expressed his gratitude for the support of the United States, adding on the question of a ceasefire: ‘The president himself said a ceasefire would be a surrender to Hamas, it would be a victory for Hamas.
‘You would no more have it than you would a ceasefire after the Al-Qaeda bombings of the World Trade Centre,’ he added, referring to the September 11, 2001 attacks.
One month since the war began, the Hamas-run health ministry said the death toll in Gaza had surpassed 10,000 people – more than 4,000 of them children.
The Israeli army said it had pounded Gaza with ‘significant’ strikes on 450 targets over 24 hours since Sunday morning, and that troops were targeting Hamas commanders in underground tunnels.
Israeli troops who have taken up positions near the Gaza border told AFP they felt proud to protect their country but also nervous as the war intensifies..…CONTINUE.FULL.READING>>>