In an unusual news conference, the Prime Minister of Israel expressed a resolute stance, asserting that the nation would not cease its offensive actions. He contended that such a cessation would bolster Hamas.
During an uncommon news briefing on Monday evening, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu exhibited a determined demeanor as he firmly rejected the idea of a Gaza cease-fire, shrugged off demands for his resignation, and denied any wrongdoing in Israel’s targeting of civilian residences. Political adversaries of Mr. Netanyahu have demanded his resignation due to his inability to prevent the October 7th assaults, during which terrorists from Gaza infiltrated Israel and caused the loss of over 1,400 lives.
Internationally, the manner in which Israel has conducted its counteroffensive in Gaza, resulting in more than 8,000 casualties according to the Hamas-controlled Gazan health ministry, has sparked significant global condemnation. Humanitarian organizations and the United Nations General Assembly have called for an immediate cease-fire.
In a statement to journalists in Tel Aviv, Mr. Netanyahu asserted that Israel would not entertain the idea of halting its offensive actions. His argument was that such a pause would bolster Hamas, the organization in control of Gaza and responsible for the recent attacks.
“Just as the United States would not agree to a cease-fire after the bombing of Pearl Harbor or after the terrorist attack of 9/11, Israel will not agree to a cessation of hostilities with Hamas after the horrific attacks of October 7.”
He then rejected allegations that Israel is imposing collective punishment on the over two million inhabitants of Gaza for the actions of Hamas. Israel has taken measures such as cutting off electricity, fuel, and most food and water supplies to Gaza. According to the Gazan health ministry, its airstrikes have resulted in the deaths of over 3,000 children.
On Sunday, António Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, expressed strong disapproval of the civilian casualties in Gaza, deeming them entirely unacceptable. He also emphasized the necessity for all involved parties to adhere to their responsibilities under international humanitarian law.
However, Mr. Netanyahu countered by stating that Israel was making efforts to minimize harm to civilians. He pointed out that Israel had been issuing warnings to civilians, urging them to relocate to southern Gaza, where the frequency of Israeli airstrikes is lower.