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Israel's Netanyahu vows to continue war on Gaza despite pressure

Anadolu Agency MIDDLE EAST
Published February 21,2024

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that Israel will not yield to any domestic or international pressure to halt the war on Gaza before achieving its objectives.

"There is a lot of pressure on Israel from home and abroad to stop the war before we achieve all of our goals, including a deal to release the hostages at any cost,'' Netanyahu said in a recorded speech on his X account.

"We are not willing to pay any price, certainly not the delusional cost that Hamas demands of us, which would mean defeat for the state of Israel," he said.

"We are committed to continuing the war until all objectives are achieved, which include eradicating Hamas, releasing all hostages, and ensuring that Gaza no longer poses a threat to Israel."

The families of Israeli hostages criticized Netanyahu last week for ordering an Israeli delegation not to return to the Egyptian capital Cairo for further talks for a hostage release deal with Hamas.

Israel believes there are 134 Israelis being held in Gaza after the Israeli army managed to free two Israelis held in the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

The US on Tuesday vetoed the latest attempt at the UN Security Council to demand an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in the besieged Gaza Strip.

The draft resolution, put forward by Algeria, received widespread support in the UN Security Council with 13 of its 15 member states voting in favor.

Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip since a cross-border attack by the Palestinian group Hamas in October, in which nearly 1,200 Israelis are believed to have been killed.

The death toll from Israel's offensive on the Gaza Strip has jumped to 29,195, the Palestinian Health Ministry said Tuesday.

Another 69,170 people have been injured so far.

About 85% of Gazans have been displaced by the Israeli onslaught, while all of them are food insecure, according to the UN. Hundreds of thousands of people are living without shelter, and ⁠less than half of the aid trucks are entering the territory than before the start of the conflict.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.