Netanyahu after talk with Biden: ‘We are determined to complete the elimination of Hamas’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remains resolute despite world pressure and interference. He addressed the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee about his continued goals. He also discusses briefly a phone call with Joe Biden. (Courtesy: Israel Government Press Office)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Tuesday, 19 March 2024), made the following remarks at the start of his meeting with the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee [translated from Hebrew]:

“We are in a dual campaign – a military campaign and a diplomatic campaign. Of course, they are inter-connected, the diplomatic fight gives us the time and the resources to reach the full results of the war.

We have been fighting for over five months, this is a record in the history of Israel’s wars, except for the War of Independence. We are – of course – under growing international pressure, which we are rejecting in order to achieve the goals of the war. The goals of the war are, to be succinct: The destruction or elimination of Hamas’s military and governing capabilities, the release of all of our hostages and ensuring that Gaza never again constitutes a threat to Israel.

In order to do this, we need to complete the military elimination of Hamas. There is no alternative to this. We cannot go around it; neither can we say ‘We will destroy 80% of Hamas and leave 20%’, because from that 20%, they will reorganize and take over the Strip again and – of course – constitute a new threat to Israel. And of course, this will be a victory for the greater axis that threatens us – the Iranian axis.

Therefore, we are determined to complete the elimination of Hamas. This requires the elimination of the remaining battalions in Rafah and – of course – the 1.5 battalions in the camps in the center. We are determined to do this. We have a debate that I will put on the table, and we all know it. US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan also said this yesterday. We have a debate with the Americans over the need to enter Rafah, not over the need to eliminate Hamas, but the need to enter Rafah. We see no way to eliminate Hamas militarily without destroying these remaining battalions. We are determined to do this.

Out of respect for the President, we agreed on a way in which they can present us with their ideas, especially on the humanitarian side; of course, we fully share this desire to facilitate an orderly exit of the population and the providing of humanitarian aid to the civilian population. We have been doing this since the beginning of the war.

However, I made it as clear as possible to the President that we are determined to complete the elimination of these battalions in Rafah, and there is no way to do this without a ground incursion.”


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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

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