Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke of his military’s “unprecedented” achievements, saying troops in Gaza have wounded and killed more than 20,000 “terrorists” in four months
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has tonight rejected a ceasefire and vowed to keep fighting until there is a “decisive victory.”
Netanyahu, known to many as Bibi, bragged about his military’s “unprecedented” achievements, saying troops in Gaza have wounded and killed more than 20,000 “terrorists” in four months.
His remarks came amid mounting international concern about the increasingly desperate humanitarian situation in the besieged enclave. More than 11,000 children have been killed by Israeli airstrikes and ground operations in Gaza, with thousands more missing, presumed buried under rubble. Children are now eating grass to stave off hunger.
Israel remains deeply shaken by the October 7 attack in which Hamas militants rampaged across southern Israel, killing some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and abducting some 250, around half of whom remain in captivity in Gaza.
“We are on the way to an absolute victory”, Netanyahu said tonight, adding that the operation would last months, not years. He said there was “no other solution” and they will soon “achieve all objectives of the war.” It comes after Hamas proposed a four-and-a-half month ceasefire during which all hostages would go free, Israel would withdraw its troops from the Gaza Strip and an agreement would be reached on an end to the war.
One journalist asked at the press conference: “What is Israel’s answer to Hamas – have we said no to them?” To which Netanyahu responded: “From what I’ve seen, even you would have said no.” He said he has “grappled with a number of prominent peace agreements” and that he believes there will be a deal, but not without “beating Hamas” and that their demands were “delusional.”
Israel is currently facing accusations of breaching the Genocide Convention at the International Court of Justice, in response to a case filed by South Africa. The United Nations’ top court ordered Israel to do all it can to prevent death, destruction and any acts of genocide in Gaza. New mothers are struggling to get baby formula and diapers, which can only be bought at vastly inflated prices if they can be found at all. Some have resorted to feeding solid food to babies younger than six months old despite the health risks it poses.
Lack of fresh produce, the proliferation of unregulated food stalls and cold weather have contributed to the spread of illness, including respiratory infections, skin rashes and diarrhoea. The United Nations children’s agency UNICEF said this week that most of the newly displaced have only 1-2 litres of water a day to drink, cook and wash. It said chronic diarrhoea among children was ticking up.