Israel will not allow ‘winds of defeatism’ in Gaza war: Netanyahu

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Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted Tuesday that his country would not give in to the “winds of defeatism” as he reaffirmed his war aim of defeating Hamas.

After the October 7 attacks by Hamas, Netanyahu’s right-wing government vowed to destroy Hamas and return all hostages seized during the deadly incursion by the Palestinian militant group.

Israel has faced international pressure to ease its military onslaught on Gaza.

For the latest updates on the Israel-Palestine conflict, visit our dedicated page.

Netanyahu made his new vow of victory after the New York Times quoted sources as saying Israel was ready to make a deal without reaching all its goals.

“I am here to make it unequivocally clear: This will not happen,” he said.

“The war will end once Israel achieves all of its objectives, including the destruction of Hamas and the release of all of our hostages.”

The prime minister said the Israeli army had “all the means to achieve” the targets in Gaza.

“We will not capitulate to the winds of defeatism, neither in The New York Times nor anywhere else. We are inspired by the spirit of victory,” he said.

The conduct of the war has led to tensions between Israel and allies such as the United States.
Netanyahu’s comment on June 24 that “the war in its intense phase is about to end in Rafah” heightened speculation about a change in tactics.

But the Israeli leader has sought to reaffirm his government’s determination.

After a visit to troops on Monday, he said: “I saw very considerable achievements in the fighting being carried in Rafah. We are advancing to the end of the stage of eliminating the Hamas terrorist army.”

The Israeli army has resumed some operations in northern Gaza and other zones where it previously said militant forces had been controlled.

The military has also issued a new evacuation order to civilians for areas around Khan Yunis and Rafah in the south.

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The October 7 attack by Hamas on southern Israel resulted in the deaths of 1,195 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli figures. That triggered the war.

The militants also seized 251 hostages, 116 of whom remain in Gaza including 42 the army says are dead.

Israel’s retaliatory offensive in Gaza has killed at least 37,925 people, also mostly civilians, according to data from the health ministry in the territory.

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