update deskIsrael at War

Invoking bereaved families, PM vows ‘absolute victory’ over Hamas

"We embrace the families in their most difficult hour," Benjamin Netanyahu said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Feb. 12, 2023. Photo by Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Feb. 12, 2023. Photo by Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed condolences to the families of IDF soldiers killed in Gaza and Judea and Samaria, speaking at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting on Sunday.

“We embrace the bereaved families in their most difficult hour. We are committed to the testament of the fallen—to continue to absolute victory over Hamas,” the prime minister said.

Two soldiers were killed in action in separate incidents in Gaza City’s Shejaiya neighborhood, the Israel Defense Forces announced on Saturday.

On Friday, the IDF announced the death in Rafah the previous day of Sgt. Eyal Shynes, 19.

On Wednesday, an IDF soldier was killed and 16 were wounded during a counterterror operation in northern Samaria.

“Dozens of terrorists are being eliminated every day. This is a difficult fight that is being waged above ground, sometimes in hand-to-hand combat, and below ground as well,” Netanyahu said, adding that Israel will fight until it has achieved all of its objectives.

He again listed those goal as eliminating Hamas, returning all the hostages, ensuring Gaza never again constitutes a threat to Israel, and restoring Israel’s displaced citizens safely to their homes near the Gaza and Lebanon borders.

“To whoever doubts the achieving of these goals, I reiterate: There is no substitute for victory,” the prime minister said, adding he would hold an assessment at IDF Southern Command headquarters in Beersheva later in the day to monitor progress in the fighting.

Referring to the weekly Torah portion Shlach Lecha, in which it is said that Israel “is an exceeding good land,” Netanyahu said, “Our land is exceeding good. Our citizens are exceeding good. Our fighters are exceeding good. With their strength and heroism, we will overcome our enemies.

“With God’s help, together we will fight and together we will win.”

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