update deskIsrael at War

Netanyahu to European leaders: Hamas’s defeat a win for the world

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte paid a wartime visit to Jerusalem on Monday.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu meets Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Oct. 23, 2023. Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu meets Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Oct. 23, 2023. Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO.

Israel’s victory over Hamas will be a victory for the entire world, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told European leaders on Sunday night.

Netanyahu told French President Emmanuel Macron, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte that the people of Israel were united in their determination to eliminate Hamas’s military and governance capabilities, according to a statement from his office. 

He thanked the European leaders for “their support of Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas‘s brutal terrorism,” the statement continued.

Rutte traveled to Jerusalem on Monday as part of a day-long visit that also included meetings with the family of a dual Dutch-Israeli citizen held captive by Hamas, and Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas.

The Netherlands’ NOS public broadcaster cited the Dutch premier as saying he had “a good, but tough conversation” with his “friend” Netanyahu.

“I reiterated how terrible Hamas’s attack on Israel is and that they have the right to defend themselves. But Israel has a strong military position, so I also said: Be aware, we are very concerned about access to humanitarian aid in Gaza,” Rutte told NOS.

“They must defend themselves, but they must do the maximum to avoid hitting innocent Palestinians and prevent a regional conflict. We talked about that as friends for an hour,” he said.

Earlier on Monday, Netanyahu hosted Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at the Prime Minister’s Office.

“I always say that the best thing about standing with Israel is standing in Israel. And you’re doing that. I appreciate the solidarity of you, your government, the people of Greece, at this darkest hour,” said Netanyahu.

“It’s a battle against civilization. It’s civilization against barbarism. We’re on the side of civilization. We have to unite, all together, against Hamas, which is ISIS,” he added.

Macron is slated to pay a wartime visit to the Jewish state on Tuesday.

On Saturday night, as Israel’s war against Hamas entered its third week, Netanyahu met separately in Tel Aviv with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides.

“This is a test, a test of civilization, and we will win. And we expect all the countries that lined up to fight ISIS to line up and fight Hamas, because Hamas is the new ISIS,” Netanyahu told Meloni.

Last week, U.S. President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak all visited the Jewish state.

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