Netanyahu says the war against Hamas in Gaza will continue until all of Israel’s goals are achieved, namely to eliminate the terror group that rules the Palestinian enclave, secure the release of all the hostages, and ensure that there’s no more threat from Gaza to Israel’s security.
The premier spoke ahead of a cabinet meeting tonight to discuss a deal that will see at least 50 hostages — children, mothers, and women — in exchange for a ceasefire of 4-5 days and the release of 150-300 Palestinian prisoners.
“We are at war, and the war will continue until all our goals are achieved,” he says.
The return of hostages is a top, “sacred priority and I am committed to it,” Netanyahu says.
“Before us is a difficult decision but the right one,” he adds. “We will not rest until everyone is returned. The war has stages and the return of the hostages will have stages.”
Defense Minister Gallant says ministers will have to weigh “important decisions” in the “next few hours and days.”
Gallant says Israel’s ground offensive in Gaza is a key factor in “dialing up the pressure” on Hamas to negotiate and release some of the 240 hostages taken from Israel on October 7.
“Without the pressure and the continued pressure [on Hamas], there will be no chance” to secure the release of the next groups of hostages, he says, vowing that once the 4-5 day ceasefire is over, Israel’s operations in Gaza will resume “in full force.”
War cabinet minister Benny Gantz says the proposed hostage deal “is the basis for continuing the necessary operational efforts [in Gaza], including in the southern arena and possibly in other arenas.”
“I will say honestly – this [hostage deal] is a difficult outline, it is painful, but it is also right,” says Gantz.