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Netanyahu rejects US concerns, vows to continue Gaza war until Israel achieves victory


Israeli prime minister rejects pressure from Blinken to find exit strategy for Gaza war, alludes to rift with Biden administration in his Independence Day address saying Israel ‘stood alone’  during 1948 war.

By David Rosenberg, World Israel News

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday appeared to reject calls by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken for Israel to prepare an exit strategy from Gaza and work to wind down its military operations in the coastal enclave.

In a video message released Monday evening as Israelis began to mark their country’s 76th Independence Day, Netanyahu vowed that the IDF would continue its war against the Hamas terror organization until it has achieved victory – including the return of Israeli captives held in Gaza and the destruction of Hamas.

In honor of the dedicated reservists, who want to fight until we achieve victory,” Netanyahu said, reiterating his pledge to ‘eradicate’ the Hamas terror organization.

“When I meet many of them and with the families of the fallen, they say: ‘Our heroes did not die in vain, they were not wounded in vain. Do not stop until the Hamas monsters are eradicated.’ And I promise: That is what we will do.”

Netanyahu’s comments come a day after Antony Blinken urged Israel to abandon its efforts to destroy Hamas, suggesting that the terror group would survive in Gaza regardless of whether the IDF carries out a comprehensive operation in Rafah.

“As we look at – at Rafah, they may go in and have some initial success, but- but potentially at an incredibly high cost to civilians, but one that is not durable, one that’s not sustainable,” Blinken told CBS News on Sunday.

“And they will be left holding the bag on an enduring insurgency because a lot of armed Hamas will be left no matter what they do in Rafah.”

“We’re seeing parts of Gaza that Israel has cleared of Hamas, where Hamas is coming back, including in the north, including in Khan Younis.”

In his Israel Independence Day address Monday, Netanyahu alluded to the current rift with the Biden administration and President Biden’s decision to halt the transfer of some munitions to the Jewish state.

“Seventy-six years ago, in the War of Independence, we stood alone. We were few against many. Five Arab armies invaded our land to annihilate the fledgling state. We were short on arms, had little resources.”

“Yet we had one secret weapon: the spirit of generations, the life force of an age-old people that refuses to die, a nation that stood up against those who would destroy it. As is written in Psalms: ‘I shall not die, but live.’”

“It is thanks to this spirit that we prevailed over our enemies and secured our existence. Today we are immeasurably stronger, but the desire to destroy us has not disappeared. It is still here.”

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