Jerusalem, Dec 25 (EFE).- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited troops in the northern Gaza Strip on Monday, telling them that the campaign against Hamas would continue “until the end.”
“We won’t stop fighting. The war continues to the end. Until Hamas is finished, no less than that,” Netanyahu said, in a veiled reference to Egypt’s proposal for a two-week cease-fire, which both Israel and Hamas appear to have rejected.
Hamas is conditioning any new hostages-for-prisoners deal on a permanent cease-fire, an option Israel rejects because it is determined to continue the war until the destruction of the Islamist group.
During his visit, Netanyahu was briefed on the amount of ammunition, weaponry and tunnel mouths by troops of the 261st brigade, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.
“I am here with you in the northern Gaza Strip and I am unusually impressed (…) We are proud of you and we trust you. We see the determination and the will to continue to the end,” he said.
Netanyahu’s visit inside the enclave, the second since the war began, coincides with the 80th day of fighting and the first message from Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, who said this is a “fierce, violent and unprecedented battle” against Israel.
Intense Israeli bombardments in two and a half months of the offensive has claimed the lives of at least 20,674 Gazans, and injured more than 54,536; while around 7,500 people are believed to remain trapped under rubble, according to the latest count by the Hamas-controlled Strip’s health ministry. EFE