“The Intense Phase of Fighting Against Hamas Is About to End” (Netanyahu)

“The Intense Phase of Fighting Against Hamas Is About to End” (Netanyahu)
“The Intense Phase of Fighting Against Hamas Is About to End” (Netanyahu)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that the fighting against Palestinian Hamas in Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip where the IDF is leading a ground offensive, is “on the verge of ending”.

“This does not mean that the war is about to end, but the war in its intense phase is about to end in Rafah,” Netanyahu said in an interview with the Israeli channel. Channel 14. Asked whether IDF reservists’ calls to refuse to serve in 2023, in light of the government’s controversial judicial reform legislation, led in part to the October 7 Hamas attack, Mr. Netanyahu responded that the months of anti-government protests have been “a disaster emanating from the left.” In this first interview that the prime minister gave to a Hebrew media outlet since the start of the war with Hamas, Mr. Netanyahu argued that the protests put Israel in danger at the time. “The refusal of the reservists to serve was “an important factor” in the failures surrounding the October 7 massacre,” said Mr. Netanyahu, “but not the main factor.” Furthermore, the Prime Minister maintains that “Israel can wage a war on several fronts” , in the event of all-out war with Hezbollah “Israel will enforce any agreement with Hezbollah to ensure that its forces are not on the border, but it will not be an agreement only on paper. This will involve physically distancing Hezbollah from the border. We are determined to return the people of the north to their homes,” he explained. As for the question of who will rule Gaza after Hamas, Netanyahu says the IDF approached him years ago five months with the idea of ​​using local clans to rule the Gaza Strip “They brought me another plan, which we are trying,” he said, “I will not go into it. details to make it work.” Mr. Netanyahu believes that the continued Israeli presence of Gaza is unrealistic and would not serve the aims of the war. “After the current phase of the war in Gaza, more “IDF troops would be transferred to the north,” he said. Asked about Israel’s ability to resist strikes on its electrical infrastructure, Mr. Netanyahu said that “there will be no catastrophe.” “We are trying to protect it, through unique protection measures that I cannot detail,” he assured.

On a possible hostage deal, Netanyahu says “Israel is willing to briefly halt fighting in Gaza in exchange for a number of hostages held by Hamas, but will not commit to a ceasefire “total fire before the objectives of the war are achieved.”

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