ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 140

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PM to southern council heads: Hamas will be destroyed. I won’t let Sinwar emerge to flash a ‘V’ sign

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, lays the foundation stone for a new community, Ofir, as he meets with municipal leaders of communities close to the Gaza Strip, November 29, 2023. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, lays the foundation stone for a new community, Ofir, as he meets with municipal leaders of communities close to the Gaza Strip, November 29, 2023. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)

In a recording from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s just-ended meeting with heads of local councils in areas where Hamas-led terrorists carried out their massacres on October 7, Netanyahu is heard saying that “the price of agreeing to end the fighting is that you leave Hamas there, that [Yahya]  Sinwar emerges from the rubble and flashes a “V” sign. I won’t agree to that.”

Netanyahu says Sinwar initially wanted to release only two Israeli hostages and seven Thais, and was rejected. Later Sinwar offered 50, for a five-day truce, before the current deal was agreed, the prime minister says.

A participant is then heard saying that “this is the worst breach [of faith] we’ve ever had, including with the [national] leadership… We screamed about it all,” she says in reference to Hamas’s overt preparations for the onslaught. “And we were always told, ‘Hamas is deterred.’ We believed. We believed you,” she laments. “How is security and the sense of security to be restored?” she asks.

“First of all, through the destruction of Hamas,” says Netanyahu. “And second, by ensuring that no other group of its kind will take control of Gaza.”

He says Israel will maintain overall security control of the Strip and that he has told this to President Biden, while also stressing his appreciation for the president for his help in returning hostages.

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