ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 141

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Netanyahu says IDF has destroyed 75% of Hamas battalions in Gaza

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (center) meets with IDF soldiers in Latrun, near Jerusalem, on February 5, 2024. (Haim Zach/GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (center) meets with IDF soldiers in Latrun, near Jerusalem, on February 5, 2024. (Haim Zach/GPO)

Speaking to IDF soldiers in Latrun, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that 75% of Hamas battalions have been destroyed, and that “there is no substitute for total victory.”

“We are on the path to total victory,” Netanyahu tells the tank crewmen of Battalion 8104, “and I want to tell you that we are committed to it and we will not give it up. We will not end the war without achieving this goal of total victory, which will restore security to both the south and the north.”

He does not lay out what total victory means.

If Israel does not achieve that goal, he continues, evacuated Israelis will not return to their homes, another massacre is “only a matter of time,” and Hezbollah and other groups will upend the region.

Netanyahu says Israel has destroyed more than half of Hamas’s manpower, defeated 18 of 24 battalions, and is actively clearing the remaining forces.

Netanyahu also says that Israel is “collapsing and destroying” Hamas’s tunnel network.

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