Netanyahu says war will continue for many more months

The prime minister added that war will continue until Hamas is eliminated, and all hostages are released; warns Hezbollah, and Iran not to escalate northern fighting

Ynet, Reuters|Updated:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated Saturday that the war will continue for many more months. "My policy is clear, we will continue to fight until Hamas is eliminated, and all our hostages are released," he emphasized.
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"As the Prime Minister, I reject international pressures to cease the fighting. I appreciate the American support, demonstrated by the government's approval for additional military supplies to the IDF. Netanyahu added, "So far, we have neutralized 8,000 terrorists, we are crippling Hamas's capabilities, targeting its commanders, and we will also eliminate the leaders of Hamas."
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הצהרת נתניהו: "אנו ממשיכים להילחם עד חיסול החמאס ושחרור כל חטופינו"
הצהרת נתניהו: "אנו ממשיכים להילחם עד חיסול החמאס ושחרור כל חטופינו"
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
(Photo: GPO)
Netanyahu also addressed the fighting on the northern border, stating, "We are delivering severe blows to Hezbollah. We have approved operational plans for the continuation of the war, and if Hezbollah will escalate, they will face unprecedented consequences – as will Iran."
The IDF announced Saturday the death of two soldiers, Master Sgt. (res.) Constantine Sushko, 30, of the Combat Engineering Corps' 7086th Battalion, from Tel Aviv, and Cpt. Harel Ittah, 22, a team commander in the Givati Brigade’s reconnaissance unit, from Netanya.
Master Sgt. (res.) Constantine Sushko fell over the weekend in Gaza Strip fighting and Cpt. Ittah succumbed to his wounds after being injured on December 22. The death toll of the ground offensive in the Gaza Strip against Hamas is 170, and since the beginning of the war, 504 soldiers have fallen.
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סרן הראל איתח ז"ל ורס״ר (מיל׳) קונסטנטין סושקו ז"ל
סרן הראל איתח ז"ל ורס״ר (מיל׳) קונסטנטין סושקו ז"ל
Master Sgt. (res.) Constantine Sushk and Cpt. Harel Ittah
(Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
The IDF also reported that five soldiers were severely wounded in the Gaza fighting, and one reservist was severely injured in the Herbon terror attack.
The Syrian Center for Human Rights Monitoring, an opposition organization operating from London, reported Saturday that Israel launched an attack on the Aleppo International Airport using six missiles.
The "Al-Miyadin" network, affiliated with Hezbollah, also reported that Israel attacked in the vicinity of Bint Jbeil in southern Lebanon. According to Lebanese reports, a wounded person was taken to the hospital, a house in the city was completely destroyed, and damage was caused to homes and vehicles in the area.
One person was injured in a car-ramming terror attack on Saturday near Hebron, located in the West Bank. The terrorist was neutralized.
According to reports, the attack took place at a checkpoint near the al Fawar refugee camp, located south of the Palestinian city.
The Iran-backed Hezbollah terror organization reported Saturday that four of its operatives have been killed and announced as “Shahids on their way to Jerusalem.” The circumstances in which the four were eliminated remain unspecified.
From the start of the war in Gaza, Hezbollah officially reported that 133 of its operatives were killed. Estimations in Israel, however, believe the number to be higher.
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נאום נסראללה
נאום נסראללה
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah
Despite reports of the U.S. allegedly targeting a truck convoy on the Syria-Iraq border on Friday morning, new estimations attribute the strike to Israel. According to Arab and Lebanese reports, the convoy belonged to Shiite pro-Iranian militias that attempted to smuggle weapons via the border arriving from Iran.
Qatari network Al-Arabi Al-Jadeed reported Saturday that an Egyptian refugee camp has been established in Khan Younis to assist Palestinians who have fled their homes following the war in Gaza.
According to the network, the camp was set up in coordination with Israel to ensure the safe passage of supplies and aid, and it is located in an area defined as a "safe zone." Officials in Cairo emphasized that they advised Hamas to refrain from operating near the camp to "prevent providing Israel with excuses to block the Egyptian initiative."
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לבנון השליח עמוס הוכשטיין ו שגרירת ארה"ב ב לבנון ביקור פתע פגישה עם יו"ר הפרלמנט נביה ברי
לבנון השליח עמוס הוכשטיין ו שגרירת ארה"ב ב לבנון ביקור פתע פגישה עם יו"ר הפרלמנט נביה ברי
Amos Hochstein
(Photo: AFP)
Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar reported Saturday that U.S. special envoy Amos Hochstein will visit Lebanon in January as part of efforts to reach a cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hezbollah.
According to the Lebanese report, Hochstein's plan includes negotiations to conclude the land border dispute between Israel and Lebanon, with an Israeli withdrawal from the northern part of the village of Ghajar.
The newspaper added that contacts between Western countries and Lebanon continue, and all parties remain cautious about the escalation between Israel and Hezbollah. Contact between the parties has increased in recent days following Israel’s pressure on the U.S. to find a solution that will allow northern residents to return home. Otherwise, Israel says there will be no choice but to expand military operations in Lebanon.
Palestinian residents in Gaza reported Saturday overnight that intense clashes are taking place in Khan Younis between IDF forces and Hamas terrorists. Meanwhile, Israeli Air Force fighter jets have been conducting a series of airstrikes against terror targets in the Strip’s central area.
At the same time, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported Saturday that 20 pro-Iranian militia operatives in Syria were killed in an alleged U.S. airstrike. According to the report, some of those eliminated were "not of Syrian descent."
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לוחמי צוות הקרב החטיבתי של כפיר בחאן יונס
לוחמי צוות הקרב החטיבתי של כפיר בחאן יונס
IDF soldiers operating in Khan Younis
(Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
According to Arab news outlet Al Arabiya, the strikes hit eight trucks moving from Iraq to Syria, reportedly delivering weapons to the militia’s operatives. The report also added some killed in the strike were Lebanese nationals.
Footage of the alleged American strike in Syria
Footage of the alleged American strike in Syria
This comes after two rockets were fired from Syria toward Israel on Friday, prompting the IDF to strike terror targets on the Syrian side of Mount Hermon.
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תא״ל דניאל הגרי
תא״ל דניאל הגרי
RADM Daniel Hagari
(Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
Commenting on the escalating tensions along the Lebanese border, IDF Spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari emphasized on Friday the Israeli military's continued efforts to conduct vigorous attacks and disrupt Hezbollah's presence near the northern border.
He stated that "the current layout of the area bears little resemblance to its state on October 6, and it will not revert back to that state again." Hagari firmly declared that South Lebanon will undergo significant changes, emphasizing the Israeli determination to prevent a return to the previous situation.
First published: 08:30, 12.30.23
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