The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahuacknowledged this Sunday that the country pays “a high price for war” in the Gaza Strip, following the death of 14 soldiers since Friday in fighting against the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.
“We are paying a high price for war“But there is no other option but to continue fighting,” declared the Israeli president at the beginning of a cabinet meeting after paying tribute to the dead soldiers and warning that the conflict will be “long.”
“We will continue with all our strength until the end, until victory, until we achieve all our objectives: the destruction of Hamas, the return of the hostages and a guarantee that Gaza will never again constitute a threat to the State of Israel” , he pointed out.
Israel vowed to annihilate Hamasafter the unprecedented attack on October 7 launched by Palestinian terrorists from the Gaza Strip in which some 1,140 people died, most of them civilians, according to a count by the AFP agency based on Israeli data.
Meanwhile, the number of soldiers killed in Palestinian territory amounts to 153. Fourteen soldiers died in the Gaza Strip in the last 48 hours, among the deadliest days in the Israeli ranks since the ground offensive in the enclave began.
According to Hamas, the Israeli military response has left 20,424 dead in Gaza since the start of the conflict. Nearly 250 people were taken hostage during the attack launched by Hamas in southern Israel. There are still 129 people held captive in Gazaalthough it is feared that some of the hostages are dead.
“I’ll be clear: the war will be long (…) until Hamas is eliminated and we restore security in both the north and the south,” Netanyahu said.
The Israeli Prime Minister indicated in a message to “Christian friends in the world” on the occasion of Christmas that these “are dates that should be of good will among all men and peace on earth.” “We have no peace on earth, not in our area, and we certainly do not see good will among all men,” he noted.
“We are facing monsters, monsters who murdered children in front of their parents and parents in front of their children, who raped and beheaded women, who burned children alive and kidnapped babies,” Netanyahu said.
Thus, he maintained that “this is a battle not only of Israel against these barbarians, but of civilization against barbarism.” “I want to guarantee that, as long as we are together, we will win this war and guarantee our common values and our common future.”
On Saturday, the Israeli chief of staff declared that his forces had largely achieved operational control in northern Gaza and would expand their operations in the south.
However, residents claim that Fighting has intensified lately in the northern districts, especially in Jabalia, which Israeli forces bombed with airstrikes overnight and on Sunday. On Saturday, the tanks moved into the city.
In the central part of the Gaza Strip, doctors said six Palestinians were killed in an Israeli airstrike on a house in the Bureij refugee camp, where the Israeli army ordered people to evacuate and head west toward the city of Deir Al-Balah.
(With information from AFP and Reuters)