Netanyahu Vows To Defeat Hamas Even If Israel Has To ‘Stand Firm Against The World’

Netanyahu Vows To Defeat Hamas Even If Israel Has To ‘Stand Firm Against The World’

Nov. 12, 2023, 8:40 a.m.

Defiant PM rejects international criticism, blasts Macron for accusing Jerusalem of bombing civilians; says PA can’t rule Gaza after war; Gallant rejects world’s ‘moral preaching’

The leaders in charge of directing Israel’s war in Gaza defiantly vowed Saturday to soldier on with the grinding military offensive aimed at vanquishing the Hamas terror group, pushing back at international pressure to slow down or halt it, and pledging to “stand firm against the world if necessary.”

In a joint press conference, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Minister Benny Gantz rejected mounting international criticism over the civilian costs of the war, urging Western leaders to throw their support behind the Jewish state since its victory would mean victory for the entire free world as well.

Netanyahu bluntly slammed French President Emmanuel Macron over remarks he made a day earlier, and also indicated that Israel would oppose the return of the Palestinian Authority to Gaza following the war — reportedly a goal sought by Washington — lambasting it as an entity that educates children to want to eliminate Israel, supports terrorism and hasn’t condemned Hamas’s October 7 massacres, which sparked the ongoing war.

The pushback came after several countries over the weekend expressed concern over the deteriorating humanitarian situation and the civilian casualties in the Strip.

On Friday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged for more to be done to protect civilians in Gaza and ensure humanitarian aid reaches them, saying that “far too many Palestinians have been killed” during the war.

And French President Emmanuel Macron said Friday that there was “no justification” for Israel’s alleged bombing of “these babies, these ladies, these old people,” reiterating his call for a ceasefire in Gaza and telling the BBC: “There is no reason for that and no legitimacy. So we do urge Israel to stop.”

In the Saturday evening press conference, Netanyahu urged worldwide backing for his opposition to a ceasefire that doesn’t include a return of the hundreds of hostages being held in Gaza by Palestinian terrorists, and called on Americans to join the demand for the destruction of Hamas, which he said poses a danger to them too. He charged that most Americans share that realization.

He noted that in some countries, there are those who are pressuring the leaders to push for a ceasefire, an apparent reference to mass pro-Palestinian demonstrations calling for such a move, such as a mass rally Saturday in London.

The leaders in charge of directing Israel’s war in Gaza defiantly vowed Saturday to soldier on with the grinding military offensive aimed at vanquishing the Hamas terror group, pushing back at international pressure to slow down or halt it, and pledging to “stand firm against the world if necessary.”

In a joint press conference, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Minister Benny Gantz rejected mounting international criticism over the civilian costs of the war, urging Western leaders to throw their support behind the Jewish state since its victory would mean victory for the entire free world as well.

Netanyahu bluntly slammed French President Emmanuel Macron over remarks he made a day earlier, and also indicated that Israel would oppose the return of the Palestinian Authority to Gaza following the war — reportedly a goal sought by Washington — lambasting it as an entity that educates children to want to eliminate Israel, supports terrorism and hasn’t condemned Hamas’s October 7 massacres, which sparked the ongoing war.

The pushback came after several countries over the weekend expressed concern over the deteriorating humanitarian situation and the civilian casualties in the Strip.

On Friday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged for more to be done to protect civilians in Gaza and ensure humanitarian aid reaches them, saying that “far too many Palestinians have been killed” during the war.

And French President Emmanuel Macron said Friday that there was “no justification” for Israel’s alleged bombing of “these babies, these ladies, these old people,” reiterating his call for a ceasefire in Gaza and telling the BBC: “There is no reason for that and no legitimacy. So we do urge Israel to stop.”

In the Saturday evening press conference, Netanyahu urged worldwide backing for his opposition to a ceasefire that doesn’t include a return of the hundreds of hostages being held in Gaza by Palestinian terrorists, and called on Americans to join the demand for the destruction of Hamas, which he said poses a danger to them too. He charged that most Americans share that realization.

He noted that in some countries, there are those who are pressuring the leaders to push for a ceasefire, an apparent reference to mass pro-Palestinian demonstrations calling for such a move, such as a mass rally Saturday in London.

“Don’t cave to the pressure,” Netanyahu said. “Our war is your war. Israel has to win for its own sake and for the world.”

In any case, “no international pressure, no false allegations about IDF soldiers and our state,” he said, will impact Israel’s insistence on protecting itself.

Israel will “stand firm against the world if necessary,” Netanyahu asserted.

Addressing Macron’s criticism, Netanyahu said: “He made a serious mistake, factually and morally. It’s Hamas preventing the evacuation of civilians, not Israel.”

“Israel tells them to leave,” Netanyahu stressed, explaining that Hamas, not Israel, has fired on the humanitarian corridor set up for northern Gazans to evacuate, and that Hamas is using the civilians as human shields.

“It’s not Israel that locates itself in hospitals, in schools, in UNRWA and UN facilities — it’s Hamas. Therefore, it is not Israel but Hamas that is responsible for harm to civilians,” Netanyahu argued.

If the free world sanctifies the terrorists’ practice of fighting from among civilians, committing the double war crime of targeting and slaughtering civilians while hiding behind their own civilians, then this foul practice will spread, he warned.

“And I say to the president of France and our other friends — it will reach you too,” he said. “Immunity must not given to terrorists who carry out this double war crime. We are truly doing everything to minimize harm to civilians or noncombatants, but we will not give Hamas the license to murder our citizens without our response. We can do without the moral preaching.

France sought to walk back the remarks Saturday, with a French diplomatic source stressing that he had “never implied and does not think that Israeli forces are deliberately targeting civilians. He has been consistently qualifying Hamas’s use of hostages or civilian population as unacceptable blackmail.”

The source also reiterated Macron’s condemnation of the October 7 Hamas onslaught, while also asserting his wish that more be done to alleviate the humanitarian situation.

In his address, Netanyahu also said the military will remain in Gaza “as long as necessary” to prevent the enclave from being used to launch terror attacks against Israel. “Hamas will be demilitarized; there will be no further threat from the Gaza Strip on Israel, and to ensure that, for all long as necessary, IDF will control Gaza security to prevent terror from there.”

He also indicated Israel would oppose the return of the Palestinian Authority to Gaza following the war — reportedly a goal sought by Washington — as the territory cannot be ruled by “a civil authority that educates its children to hate Israel, to kill Israelis, to eliminate the State of Israel… an authority that pays the families of murderers [amounts] based on the number they murdered… an authority whose leader still has not condemned the terrible [October 7] massacre 30 days later.”

Netanyahu also responded to a Saturday meeting of Muslim leaders in Riyadh — including Syria’s President Bashar Assad, Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, among other authoritarians — which served as a platform for scathing criticism of what they alleged were Israel’s violations of international law during the war.

Israel’s intense aerial and ground offensive targeting Hamas infrastructure has killed over 11,000 people, according to the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza. The figure cannot be verified independently and is believed to include members of terror groups and civilians killed by misfired Palestinian rockets.

Source: The Times of Israel

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