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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: "We will not stop fighting until we have achieved all the goals we have set ourselves"

Photo: Maya Alleruzzo / IMAGO / UPI Photo

Despite mounting calls to minimize civilian casualties, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ruled out a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip before the "elimination" of Hamas. We will not stop fighting until we have achieved all the goals we have set for ourselves," Netanyahu said of the war against the Palestinian terrorist organization. These are "the elimination of Hamas, the release of our hostages and the end of the threat from the Gaza Strip."

Netanyahu declared that Israeli forces would attack Hamas members "everywhere" in the Gaza Strip. Anyone who thinks we're going to stop has no connection to reality," Netanyahu added. We are attacking Hamas with fire – an inferno," he continued. We are also attacking their accomplices near and far."

The Israeli leader's remarks came after Hamas leader Ismail Haniyyeh traveled to Egypt to hold talks on a new possible ceasefire. Egypt is considered an important mediator between Israel and the Palestinians.

At the international level, a vote in the UN Security Council on a resolution calling for a ceasefire was also expected on Wednesday. The planned vote had already been postponed twice because members were arguing about the wording.

Last month, after lengthy negotiations brokered by Qatar, Egypt and the United States, Israel and Hamas reached an agreement that included a ceasefire and the release of Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners. As part of the agreement, 105 hostages and 240 Palestinians imprisoned in Israel were released. On 1 December, the ceasefire expired after a week.

On October 7, hundreds of armed Hamas fighters entered Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip and carried out the worst attack on Israel in the country's history. According to Israeli figures, around 1140,250 people were killed and about <> people were taken hostage to the Gaza Strip. Israel then announced the annihilation of Hamas and began bombing the Gaza Strip.

Blinken sees Hamas elimination and minimization of civilian casualties as a simultaneous obligation

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States believes that Israel has an obligation to eliminate the threat posed by Hamas. At the same time, however, there is also an obligation to minimize the number of civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip.

"We continue to believe that Israel does not have to choose between eliminating the threat of Hamas and minimizing civilian casualties in Gaza," Blinken said at an end-of-year press conference in Washington. "It has a duty to do both, and it has a strategic interest to do both."