The Israel Defense Forces operation against the Hamas terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip will continue “till the end,” even in the face of international pressure, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Wednesday night.
“Nothing will stop us,” Netanyahu told Israeli soldiers during a visit to a detention facility for Hamas terrorists in the country’s south. “We are continuing until the end, until victory, until the elimination of Hamas.”
“I say this even in the face of great pain, but also in the face of international pressure,” the premier added. He noted that “yesterday, we had a very tough day,” when 10 IDF soldiers were killed in Gaza.
Netanyahu’s remarks came shortly after Israel’s Kan News public broadcaster quoted Foreign Minister Eli Cohen as saying that the war against Hamas would continue “with or without international support.”
“A ceasefire at the current stage is a gift to the terrorist organization Hamas, and will allow it to return and threaten the residents of Israel,” Cohen told a visiting diplomat, per his office.
U.S. President Joe Biden said at a Tuesday fundraiser in Washington that Israel is losing international support and that Netanyahu needed to “change” and embrace the two-state solution.
“Israel’s security can rest on the United States, but right now it has more than the United States,” Biden said. “It has the European Union. It has Europe. It has most of the world supporting it. But they’re starting to lose that support by the indiscriminate bombing that takes place.”
Biden drew criticism, including from David Friedman, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel, for the latter statement. “Israel’s bombing is not, and cannot be described as ‘indiscriminate,’ which he should know perfectly well from his intel briefings,” Friedman wrote.
“The current makeup of Israel’s government is entirely irrelevant to the current war, where the ‘war cabinet’ controls the efforts and includes centrists with distinguished military credentials, and where all of Israel’s major political parties fully support the IDF in its battle against Hamas,” he added.
“It is also irrelevant that the current government does not support a disastrous ‘two-state solution,’ which, by the way, is opposed by almost all Palestinians as well,” Friedman said. “Biden’s comments only feed the antisemitic rhetoric that Joe Biden claims to find so disgusting.”
In a video statement released just hours earlier, Netanyahu said that despite differences of opinion, the Biden administration had given its “full backing” to Jerusalem’s goal of destroying Hamas.
“I greatly appreciate the American support for destroying Hamas and returning our hostages,” he said. “Following an intensive dialogue with President Biden and his team, we received full backing for the ground incursion and blocking the international pressure to stop the war.”
“Yes, there is disagreement about ‘the day after Hamas,’ and I hope that we will reach agreement here as well,” the prime minister stated, vowing not to repeat the “mistake” of the Oslo Accords, signed between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1993 and 1995.
“Gaza will be neither Hamastan nor Fatahstan,” he added, referring to the Fatah faction controlled by P.A. leader Mahmoud Abbas.
According to a poll released on Wednesday, 60% of Palestinians want Hamas terrorists to retain control over the coastal enclave.