Israel’s campaign in Gaza will continue for months, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said, dashing any hope of a swift end to a war that is already the bloodiest in 75 years of conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
“We have major successes but we have also paid a painful price,” he said in a primetime address to the nation on Saturday night. However, he added: “In order to achieve absolute victory, in order to accomplish all of our goals, more time is required.” Repeating comments made by Israel Defence Forces chief of staff Herzi Halevi, the Prime Minister said: “The war will continue for many more months.”
Nearly three months into a land, air and sea invasion of Gaza that was sparked when militant group Hamas carried out a cross-border raid on Israeli territory on October 7, the death toll has soared past grim historical milestones. Nearly 23,000 Palestinians have been killed, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry – the most since the 1948 war that founded the State of Israel. At least 1,200 people, including more than 300 soldiers, were killed during the Hamas raid, the Israeli government estimates, the deadliest loss of life on the country’s soil since 1948.
Some 240 hostages were also seized by Hamas and other militants. Another 172 Israeli troops have died fighting in Gaza, with hundreds injured. Israel shows no sign of reducing the intensity of its operations in Gaza, despite calls from allies to move to targeted raids to try and capture or kill senior Hamas commanders or political leaders such as Yahya Sinwar and Mohammed Deif, who Israel holds responsible for planning the October 7 raid. Israel has also rejected international pressure for a temporary truce to allow significant humanitarian aid into besieged Gaza and potentially the exchange of the remaining hostages held by Hamas to be swapped for Palestinian prisoners. (Financial Times)
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