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    Netanyahu Vows to Continue Gaza War Despite Potential Ceasefire Deal

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    Netanyahu Vows to Continue Gaza War Despite Potential Ceasefire Deal
    • June 24, 2024 • 28 days ago
    in summary
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated that the war against Hamas in Gaza will continue even if a ceasefire agreement is reached. Netanyahu expressed openness to a partial deal for the release of some captives held in Gaza but emphasized that he would not agree to any deal requiring an end to the ongoing conflict. Despite a U.S.-proposed ceasefire plan, Netanyahu and other Israeli officials have committed to continuing military operations until Hamas is eliminated. Netanyahu also mentioned the nearing end of the intense phase of fighting in Rafah and plans for a civilian administration in Gaza. Additionally, Israeli troops are set to move to the northern border with Lebanon for defensive purposes.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reiterated his commitment to ongoing military operations against Hamas in Gaza, even if a ceasefire agreement is reached. This stance underscores Netanyahu's unwavering resolve to eliminate Hamas, regardless of international calls for a cessation of hostilities.

    In a recent interview with Channel 14, Netanyahu made it clear that he would not agree to any deal stipulating an end to the eight-month-long war against Hamas. He did, however, express openness to a "partial" deal aimed at facilitating the return of some captives still held in Gaza. This position comes in response to a U.S.-proposed ceasefire plan announced last month by President Joe Biden. The proposal included a six-week pause in fighting, the release of some Israeli captives in Gaza, and the release of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails. It was intended as a pathway to a permanent ceasefire.

    People attend a demonstration against Netanyahus government and call for the release of captives in Gaza, in Tel Aviv, Israel [Eloisa Lopez/Reuters]
    People attend a demonstration against Netanyahu’s government and call for the release of captives in Gaza, in Tel Aviv, Israel

    Despite these proposals, Netanyahu and other Israeli officials have publicly committed to continuing the fight until Hamas is fully eradicated. Netanyahu stated, "The intense phase of the fighting against Hamas is about to end," but clarified, "It doesn’t mean that the war is about to end, but the war in its intense phase is about to end in Rafah."

    In his first interview with an Israeli news outlet since the war began, Netanyahu also addressed the future governance of Gaza. He firmly rejected the idea of the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority taking control of Gaza in place of Hamas. Instead, he proposed the establishment of a civilian administration managed by local Palestinians with potential external backing from regional countries. "We also want to create a civilian administration, if possible with local Palestinians and maybe with external backing from countries in the region, to manage humanitarian supply and later on, civilian affairs in the Strip," Netanyahu said. He emphasized that ongoing demilitarization by the Israeli military and the establishment of a civilian administration are crucial for Gaza's future.

    Netanyahu also announced plans to redeploy Israeli troops to the northern border with Lebanon for defensive purposes. This move is intended to protect Israeli residents who have been evacuated due to near-daily exchanges of fire between Israeli forces and Lebanese Hezbollah fighters since the war in Gaza began. "After the intense phase is finished, we will have the possibility to move part of the forces north. And we will do this. First and foremost for defensive purposes. And secondly, to bring our evacuated residents home," Netanyahu explained.

    The ongoing conflict, which began with a Hamas-led attack on Israel resulting in the deaths of 1,139 people and the capture of dozens of hostages, has led to severe humanitarian consequences. According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, Israeli military offensives have killed at least 37,598 people in the Palestinian territory.

    Netanyahu's firm stance against ending the war has drawn both international criticism and domestic support. Victims' families and various international bodies have called for a ceasefire to prevent further loss of life and humanitarian suffering. However, Netanyahu's government continues to receive backing from segments of the Israeli public who support the ongoing military operations as necessary for national security.

    As the situation evolves, the potential for a ceasefire remains uncertain. Netanyahu's commitment to military operations signals a protracted conflict, with significant implications for the region's stability and humanitarian conditions.

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