Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday that the IDF continues fighting in the Gaza Strip with full force to eliminate the Hamas terror group.
Speaking at a press conference Netanyahu said, "To complete the mission of bringing our captives back and eliminating Hamas, ensuring that Gaza will no longer pose a threat to Israel, we continue to fight with full force. Our soldiers prepared for the decisive victory against Hamas during the ceasefire."
Netanyahu stated that he met with the troops who urged him to "continue the fighting until the end," as he assured them that there is no doubt about it. Netanyahu also said that "in the last 24 hours, the IDF destroyed over 400 Hamas targets, and eliminated terrorists in Khan Yunis and Beit Lahia. The military also operates in the northern part of the Gaza Strip and will continue the fighting until all war objectives are reached, and this can't be done without continuing the ground offensive."
In response to a question about halting the captives' release agreement Netanyahu stated, "Hamas violated the agreement, and I said if they break the agreement, we will return to war. That's exactly what we did, and this pressure will continue to escalate. There is international pressure; I do not deny that. But what I am doing is creating an international space against this pressure and talking to leaders every day. I present the righteousness of our cause."
Netanyahu also addressed the captives who were brought back to Israel as part of the agreement with Hamas. "He who saves one life, it is as if he saved an entire world," said Netanyahu. "In the past week, we saved many lives. We brought back 110 individuals, releasing 86 Israeli citizens, including children, women, young boys, and girls, mothers and grandmothers, as well as dozens of foreign nationals. The entire nation and many around the world held their breath after each release."
Netanyahu also conveyed a message to the residents of the north in light of the recent escalation of attacks by Hezbollah on the Lebanon border: "I say to the residents of the northern Israeli border what I say to the residents of the south - we will restore security, both in the north and in the south. This is an action that requires a certain order. There is no need to dwell on our considerations. We are discussing the right order and a thoughtful and resilient operation. We are committed to restoring security for all Israeli citizens. People will return when they feel secure, and I emphasize that there will be security. It's that simple. We cannot enforce it differently, and we will not attempt to do so."