Netanyahu: US response to attack like Oct. 7 would be ‘at least as strong as Israel’s’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to FOX News on February 11, 2024 (Screenshot)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to FOX News on February 11, 2024 (Screenshot)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the US response to an attack like the October 7 Hamas massacre would be “at least as strong as Israel’s” and possibly stronger.

Speaking with Fox News, Netanyahu responds to a question about US President Joe Biden’s sharpest rebuke yet of Israel’s Gaza campaign as “over the top” and says he doesn’t “know what he meant by that.”

“Look, we were attacked in the worst attack on Jewish people since the Holocaust,” says Netanyahu. “That October 7 massacre was equivalent to 29 9/11s in one day and the equivalent of 50,000 Americans slaughtered — burned, maimed, raped, beheaded — and 10,000 Americans taken hostage, including mothers and children. So, what would America’s response be? I would say it would be at least as strong as Israel’s and many Americans tell me, ‘We would have flattened them. We would have turned them into dust.'”

By contrast, he says, “We’re proceeding… as no other army has on earth, and taking precautions to prevent civilian casualties,” pointing to the phone calls and flyers distributed to civilians and the creation of safe corridors and safe zones.

“Israel has responded in a way that is responsible, but also determined… iron determination to wipe the terrorist group Hamas off the face of the Earth, and that is something we will do.”

“Hamas has pledged to carry out massacres over and over and over again,” he reminds the interviewer.

“We have to finish the job. All these people who are naysaying or saying we can’t do it, they’re the ones who said just three months ago, don’t go into a ground offensive… They were all wrong,” Netanyahu says.

“Victory is within reach. Three-quarters of Hamas [battalions] is destroyed, 18 out of 24; we’re not going to leave the other six. It’s like you leaving a quarter of ISIS in Iraq in place and saying ‘Well, they can have their territory, it’s ok.’ Obviously, ISIS would re-establish itself. Hamas-ISIS will re-establish itself too if we don’t finish its last remaining bastion” in Rafah, he says.

He says he agrees with the US that there needs to be a plan to “vacate the civilian population” in the southernmost city in Gaza, the last Hamas stronghold where over a million Gazans are said to be sheltering.

“Destroying Hamas gives us hope for the Middle East, hope for peace,” he says, promising “total victory.”

The eradication of Hamas and bringing home the remaining hostages “are mutually compatible” and the key is “sustained military effort.”

In an interview with ABC’s “This Week” program today, Netanyahu said that one Palestinian civilian has been killed for every Hamas fighter killed in Gaza.

Hamas-run health authorities in Gaza estimate about 28,000 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been killed in the region since the conflict began in October. These figures cannot be independently verified, are believed to include fatalities caused by failed rocket fire by Gaza terror groups, and do not distinguish between civilians and combatants.

Israel says it has killed 10,000 Hamas gunmen in Gaza, as well as 1,000 terrorists in Israel on October 7 when 1,200 were killed across southern Israel in the murderous rampage, and 253 were taken hostage.

Netanyahu tells ABC that “enough” of the 132 remaining Israeli hostages taken on October 7 and held in Gaza are alive to justify Israel’s ongoing war.

Asked how many of the hostages are still alive, Netanyahu said “enough to warrant the kind of efforts that we’re doing.”

At least 29 of the 132 hostages are confirmed dead by the military, citing new findings and intel on the ground.

“We’re going to try to do our best to get all those who are alive back and, frankly, also the bodies of the dead,” he tells ABC.

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