update deskIsrael at War

Netanyahu: No compromise on total victory over Hamas

The war will not end until all 120 hostages have been returned, both the living and the dead, said the Israeli premier at the Knesset.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a plenum session for the Knesset's 75th birthday, Jan. 24, 2024. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a plenum session for the Knesset's 75th birthday, Jan. 24, 2024. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday night reiterated his commitment to total victory in the ongoing war against the Hamas terror group in the Gaza Strip.

“We are not willing to compromise on less than a total victory over the murderers of Hamas. We have struck down thousands of them. We are hounding their leaders. We will continue to do so until we eliminate Hamas’s military and governing capabilities. Until we return our 120 hostages, both living and deceased. Until we ensure that Gaza will no longer pose a threat against Israel, and until we return the residents of the south and the north safely to their homes. Nothing will stop us,” said Netanyahu in an address at the Knesset in Jerusalem.

“We are in a fight for our existence, a fight being conducted on seven fronts. The attack against us is being led by Iran, which openly seeks to destroy us. Iran and its proxies have been scheming to do this through missile attacks against Israel and by invading our territory. The more we deepen the war in the Gaza Strip, the more we discover additional evidence of the scope of the multi-front campaign against us,” continued the premier.

“We will thwart this campaign. We will thwart it because Iran has completely misjudged us. It did not take into account our strength, our capabilities, our determination to defend ourselves and to impose a destructive cost on our aggressor,” said Netanyahu.

“I say to you, members of Knesset, and to the citizens of Israel, we are faced with great challenges and we face difficult decisions. They will require sacrifice, courage and internal unity. I promise you three things:

“First, we will not end the war until we return all of our hostages. … We are committed to the Israeli proposal, which President [Joe] Biden has welcomed. Our position has not changed;

“Second, which does not contradict the first [promise], we will not end the war until we eliminate Hamas and until we return the residents of the south and the north securely to their homes;

“And third—at any price and in any way, we will thwart Iran’s intentions to destroy us.”

On Sunday night, Netanyahu told Channel 14 that with intense fighting in Gaza winding down, Jerusalem will deploy more troops to the northern border to defend against increasing Hezbollah attacks from Lebanon.

The interview came as Iran-backed Hezbollah continued to launch drones and anti-tank missiles at the Galilee, wounding three Israelis on Sunday, two of whom were listed as being in serious condition.

Netanyahu added that the Israeli military will continue to “mow the grass” in Gaza constantly to prevent the enclave from becoming a threat again.

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