update deskIsrael at War

Netanyahu: War to continue until ‘absolute victory’

The Israeli premier said that the offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip had eliminated over 8,000 terrorists to date, and could last months yet.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits Israel Defense Forces troops in the Gaza Strip, Nov. 26, 2023. Photo by Avi Ohayon/GPO.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits Israel Defense Forces troops in the Gaza Strip, Nov. 26, 2023. Photo by Avi Ohayon/GPO.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday night that the war against Hamas was being prosecuted successfully, despite the heavy cost, and would continue, possibly for many months, until “absolute victory.”

“The war is continuing. We are fighting on all fronts. We have major successes, but we have also paid a painful price. Achieving victory requires more time. Just as the [IDF] chief of staff said this week: ‘The war will continue for many more months,'” said Netanyahu.

“My policy is clear: We are continuing to fight until the goals of the war have been achieved, especially the elimination of Hamas and the release of all our hostages. We are not relenting—even for a moment—in our efforts to bring our hostages back home, even at this very moment. We will ensure that Gaza no longer constitutes a threat to Israel, that there will be no element in it that finances terrorism, educates its children for terrorism and pays the families of terrorists,” added the premier.

“We have additional important missions: To restore security in both the south and the north, to restore prosperity to the kibbutzim, moshavim and cities that have been attacked, and to return the residents to their homes.

“As prime minister, I have rejected the international pressure aimed at stopping the war before we achieve these goals,” said Netanyahu.

The premier reiterated that in order to achieve “absolute victory” and accomplish all of these goals, “more time is required.”

Netanyahu said that the offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip had eliminated more than 8,000 terrorists. “Step by step, we are wiping out Hamas’s capabilities. Hamas will be defeated. Our soldiers will win. The people of Israel will win,” he added.

“At the same time, we are also active on additional fronts. On the northern border, we are striking harsh blows against Hezbollah. We are eliminating many terrorists and are destroying the enemy’s capabilities. We have approved operational plans for the continuation of the fighting,” said Netanyahu.

“If Hezbollah expands the war, it will absorb blows that it has not dreamed of, and Iran as well. We will take all action until we restore security to the residents of the north,” he added.

In Judea and Samaria, Netanyahu said that the military was “working around the clock to arrest terrorists, to eliminate terrorists and to thwart many attacks. Since ‘Operation Defensive Shield’ [2003-2005], there has been no operation in Judea and Samaria of such magnitude. I would like to stand by our settler brothers and sisters, who are steadfast in the face of constant terrorist threats.”

With respect to Iran, Netanyahu said the Islamic Republic was “leading the axis of evil and the aggression against us on the various fronts. This aggression is aimed not only at Israel but at the entire free world. We are acting against Iran all the time, everywhere, and I will not go into details.

“Today, everyone understands that the threat from Iran will greatly increase if Iran has nuclear weapons. Therefore, the goal that I have been working toward for many years, even now, remains as is: To do absolutely everything to prevent Iran from attaining nuclear weapons,” said Netanyahu.

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