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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared in an exclusive interview with ABC network on Monday night that Israel will maintain security responsibility in the Gaza Strip for an indefinite period following the recent conflict. Netanyahu cited the October 7 massacre as a stark example of the consequences of relinquishing security control in the region, emphasizing the eruption of Hamas terror in the absence of Israeli oversight.
During the interview with presenter David Muir on the World News Tonight program, Netanyahu reiterated his firm stance on the ongoing situation. He emphasized that Israel would not agree to any ceasefire until the 240 hostages held by Hamas in Gaza are safely returned. While he acknowledged the possibility of temporary pauses for humanitarian aid delivery or the release of individual hostages, he dismissed the notion of a comprehensive ceasefire, asserting that such a move would impede their efforts to secure the release of the hostages.
Netanyahu drew parallels between Israel’s current situation and historical events in the United States, stating that just as the U.S. did not agree to a ceasefire after significant attacks like Pearl Harbor or September 11, Israel would not yield to Hamas terrorism. He firmly rejected the idea of a ceasefire, characterizing it as a call for Israel to surrender to barbarism and terrorism, asserting that Israel would stand firm against such threats.
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Addressing concerns about his government’s responsibility in handling the crisis, Netanyahu acknowledged the gravity of the situation and expressed willingness to answer tough questions. He reiterated that the government’s primary duty is to protect its people, and he vowed to fulfill that responsibility despite the challenges posed by the ongoing conflict.
The Israeli Prime Minister also spoke about his relationship with U.S. President Joe Biden, describing Biden as a strong supporter of Israel. He emphasized the need for both countries to stand together and highlighted their mutual commitment to providing humanitarian assistance while safeguarding Israeli soldiers from potential dangers posed by Hamas.
As the conflict continues to unfold, Netanyahu’s statements underscore the Israeli government’s unwavering resolve to prioritize the safety and security of its citizens while navigating the complex challenges posed by the ongoing crisis in Gaza. The international community remains closely watchful of developments in the region, awaiting further updates on efforts to resolve the hostage situation and restore stability in the area.