Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon / GPO
French President Emmanuel Macron and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Oct. 24, 2023

Ceasefire calls are incompatible with supporting the removal of Hamas in Gaza, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of Sunday’s weekly Cabinet meeting.

“In the last two days, I spoke with [German] Chancellor Scholz, with French President Macron, and with other leaders, and I told them that it is impossible to support the elimination of Hamas with one hand and pressure us to end the war with the other hand. Justice is on our side,” Netanyahu remarked.


The premier also provided an update on the combined ground, aerial and naval campaign against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, dubbed “Operation Swords of Iron,” which the IDF launched after the Oct. 7 terrorist assault on the northwestern Negev.

“The fighting in the Gaza Strip continues with greater intensity to achieve all its goals—the elimination of Hamas, the return of all our hostages and the promise that Gaza will never again be a threat to Israel,” Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu on Saturday night praised the United States’s veto of a United Nations Security Council resolution the previous day calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. The draft resolution failed to condemn the Hamas massacre of Oct. 7 or acknowledge Israel’s right to self-defense.

“I greatly appreciate the correct stance that the U.S. has taken in the U.N. Security Council,” said Netanyahu.

Thirteen members of 15-strong UNSC voted in favor of the resolution while Britain abstained.

At least 1,200 people were killed in Hamas’s attacks on Israeli communities near the Gaza border on Oct. 7. Hamas currently holds 137 men, women, children, soldiers and foreigners captive in Gaza. Some people remain unaccounted for as Israeli authorities continue to identify bodies and search for human remains.

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