Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has insisted that the regime will return to the war in Gaza after the end of a six-day ceasefire with the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas.
Netanyahu issued a video statement on Wednesday, saying that the Israeli regime has yet to meet the objectives it had stated at the beginning of the war in Gaza in early October.
“From the beginning of the war, I set three goals – the elimination of Hamas, the return of all our abductees, and to ensure that Gaza will never again be a threat to Israel. These three goals remain in place,” he said.
Netanyahu claimed his administration achieved “a very great achievement,” pointing to the exchange of Palestinian prisoners with Israeli captives held by Hamas.
He said the release of captives “would have sounded imaginary” before the ceasefire with Hamas was announced last week.
“There is no way we are not going back to fighting until the end. This is my policy,” Netanyahu added.
The statement came just hours before the end of the extension of a ceasefire in Gaza that came into effect on Friday and was extended for two days until Wednesday.
Hamas said negotiations for a new extension were going on between the group and mediators led by Qatar.
The Israeli media said talks to renew the truce deal had not been successful. They said, however, that the Israeli officials believed that some 150 Israeli captives, including many military, police and intelligence officers, were still being held by Hamas.
Israel’s full-scale military operation in Gaza that started on October 7 in response to a Hamas operation has killed more than 15,000 people in the territory.
In addition to the exchange of Israeli captives with the Palestinian prisoners, the truce deal in Gaza covers a pause in fighting and an easing of Israel’s crippling blockade on the small territory to allow the transfer of humanitarian aid to the people in need.
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