update deskIsrael at War

Netanyahu to Putin: We ‘won’t stop until Hamas is destroyed’

It was the first phone call between the two leaders since the Oct. 7 Hamas massacre of more than 1,400 Israelis.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi. Credit: Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi. Credit: Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday that Israel intends to eliminate the Hamas terrorist group in Gaza.

“The prime minister made it clear that Israel had been attacked by brutal and abhorrent murderers, had gone to war determined and united and would not stop until it had destroyed Hamas’s military and governing capabilities,” per a readout from Netanyahu’s office.

It was the first phone call between the two leaders since Israel launched “Operation Swords of Iron” against Hamas after the terror group’s Oct. 7 massacre that claimed more than 1,400 lives and left more than 4,100 people wounded. The terrorists took at least 199 hostages back with them to Gaza.

Putin expressed his “sincere condolences” to Israeli families and friends of those killed in the terror rampage, emphasizing “total rejection and condemnation of any actions that result in civilian casualties, including among women and children,” per a statement from Moscow.

Putin “laid out the steps being taken by Russia to help normalize the situation, to prevent the further escalation of violence and to avert a humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip,” per the statement.

It added that Putin informed Netanyahu “of the key points of today’s telephone calls with the leaders of Palestine, Egypt, Iran and Syria” and that Moscow’s “principled commitment to continue its work to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and achieve a peaceful settlement through political and diplomatic means was reaffirmed.”

A Russian-drafted United Nations Security Council resolution on Monday calling for a humanitarian ceasefire in the Israel-Gaza war was rejected, as it failed to mention Hamas at all.

The United States, United Kingdom, France and Japan voted it down, with six other countries in the 15-member body abstaining. Five member states, including Russia, China, the United Arab Emirates, Gabon and Mozambique, voted in favor.

Security Council resolutions need a minimum of nine yes votes and no vetoes by the five permanent members to pass.  

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, slammed Russia for failing to mention Hamas in the draft resolution.

“By failing to condemn Hamas, Russia is giving cover to a terrorist group that brutalizes innocent civilians. It is outrageous, it is hypocritical, and it is indefensible,” she said her speech, explaining why the United States had rejected the resolution.

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