Israel's war against Hamas will last until ‘absolute victory’ is achieved, says Netanyahu

The Israeli prime minister also said: ‘We have major successes, but we have also paid a painful price’


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs a Cabinet meeting on December 31, 2023 (Photo: Getty)

Benjamin Netanyahu has said that Israel's war against Hamas will last "many months" until “absolute victory” is achieved as he renewed his pledge to eliminate the terrorist group from Gaza.

The Israeli prime minister also said the war against Hamas was being “prosecuted successfully, despite the heavy cost”.

Speaking late on Saturday night, he added: “The war is continuing. We are fighting on all fronts.

“We have major successes, but we have also paid a painful price. Achieving victory requires more time.”

The war between the Jewish state and Hamas erupted after terrorists from the group carried out a deadly attack on southern Israel on October 7 that killed about 1,140 Israelis.

He said: “My policy is clear: We are continuing to fight until the goals of the war have been achieved, especially the elimination of Hamas and the release of all our hostages.

“We are not relenting – even for a moment – in our efforts to bring our hostages back home, even at this very moment.

“We will ensure that Gaza no longer constitutes a threat to Israel, that there will be no element in it that finances terrorism, educates its children for terrorism and pays the families of terrorists.”

Netanyahu continued: “We have additional important missions: To restore security in both the south and the north, to restore prosperity to the kibbutzim, moshavim and cities that have been attacked, and to return the residents to their homes.

“As prime minister, I have rejected the international pressure aimed at stopping the war before we achieve these goals.”

Netanyahu reiterated that in order to achieve “absolute victory” and accomplish all of these goals, “more time is required.”

He said that the offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip had eliminated more than 8,000 terrorists.

“Step by step, we are wiping out Hamas’s capabilities. Hamas will be defeated. Our soldiers will win. The people of Israel will win,” he added.

“At the same time, we are also active on additional fronts. On the northern border, we are striking harsh blows against Hezbollah.

“We are eliminating many terrorists and are destroying the enemy’s capabilities. We have approved operational plans for the continuation of the fighting.

“If Hezbollah expands the war, it will absorb blows that it has not dreamed of, and Iran as well. We will take all action until we restore security to the residents of the north.”

In the West Bank, Netanyahu said the IDF was “working around the clock to arrest terrorists, to eliminate terrorists and to thwart many attacks.”

With respect to Iran, Netanyahu said the Islamic Republic was “leading the axis of evil and the aggression against us on the various fronts.”

He said: “This aggression is aimed not only at Israel but at the entire free world. We are acting against Iran all the time, everywhere, and I will not go into details.

“Today, everyone understands that the threat from Iran will greatly increase if Iran has nuclear weapons. “Therefore, the goal that I have been working toward for many years, even now, remains as is: To do absolutely everything to prevent Iran from attaining nuclear weapons.”

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