Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu says war against Hamas will not stop after ceasefire

A woman takes a photo of a poster showing Israelis held captive in Gaza plastered underneath a picture of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with calls for the Israeli leader to reach a deal to bring them home, in Tel Aviv, Israel.
| Photo Credit: AP

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel will continue its war against Hamas, even if a temporary ceasefire is reached with the Islamic militant group to release hostages.

In comments on Tuesday ahead of an expected Cabinet vote on a ceasefire proposal, Mr. Netanyahu vowed to press ahead.

“We are at war, and we will continue the war,” he said. “We will continue until we achieve all our goals.” The Israeli Cabinet was expected to vote on a plan that would halt Israel’s offensive in Gaza for several days in exchange for the release of about 50 of the 240 hostages held by Hamas. Israel has vowed to continue the war until it destroys Hamas’ military capabilities and returns all hostages.

The comments came as Israel and Hamas appeared close to a deal to temporarily halt their devastating six-week war so that dozens of hostages being held in the Gaza Strip could be freed in exchange for Palestinians in Israeli prisons.

Hamas predicted a Qatari-mediated deal could be reached in “the coming hours,” while Netanyahu was convening top decision-makers to discuss the matter.

“We are advancing,” Mr. Netanyahu told troops during a visit earlier Tuesday to a training base. “I hope there will be good news soon.” The announcement came as Israeli troops battled Palestinian militants in an urban refugee camp in northern Gaza and around hospitals overcrowded with patients and sheltering families.

Mr. Netanyahu’s office said the special three-member War Cabinet met Tuesday and would be followed by meetings of his Security Cabinet, a forum of senior security officials, and the full Cabinet.

There was no word on whether a vote would take place, and details of a deal were not released. Israeli media reported that an agreement would include a five-day halt in Israel’s offensive in Gaza and the release of 50 hostages held by Hamas in exchange for some 150 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

Israel’s Channel 12 TV said the first releases would take place on Thursday or Friday and continue for several days.

Talks have repeatedly stalled. But even if a deal is reached, it would not mean an end to the war, which erupted on October 7 after Hamas militants stormed across the border into southern Israel and killed at least 1,200 people, most of them civilians, and kidnapped some 240 others.

In weeks of Israeli airstrikes and a ground invasion, more than 11,000 Palestinians have been killed, two-thirds of them women and minors, and more than 2,700 others are missing and believed to be buried under rubble, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry. The ministry says it has been unable to update its count since November 11 because of the health sector’s collapse.

Source link

Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: