Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told foreign media outlets in a news briefing Monday night that Israel will not agree to a ceasefire, which he said would constitute a surrender to Hamas, adding that the current conflict involves more than just Israel and Hamas: “The future of civilization is at stake.”
For those who have time, the news conference – which included responses by Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer as well — is worth a listen from beginning to end.
“The Bible says there is a time for peace and a time for war,” the prime minister told the journalists. “This is a time for war.”
Netanyahu noted there are many examples in history of situations in which military forces fighting evil were confronted with the problem of reaching their targets without harming civilians – and sometimes despite their best intentions, they failed.
Nevertheless, he said, “Just as the United States would not agree to a ceasefire after the bombing of Pearl Harbor or after the terrorist attack of 9/11, Israel will not agree to a cessation of hostilities with Hamas.”
With regard to the hundreds of hostages being held by the terrorist organization since its invasion of southern Israel and bloody massacre of more than a thousand Israeli civilians on October 7, Netanyahu said military pressure creates another way to pressure Hamas into releasing its hostages.
“Ground action actually creates the possibility — not the certainty but the possibility — of getting our hostages out because Hamas will not do it unless they’re under pressure,” he said.