There was a time when America refused to negotiate with terrorists and instead used its immense military might to take them on. While that has somewhat fallen by the wayside in the name of “diplomacy,” it’s a strategy that Israel has stuck with in its brutal fight with Hamas, refusing to contemplate a ceasefire until its hostages are released, at the very least.
Such is what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his country in a Friday night message, saying that he had rejected the Biden Administration’s call for a ceasefire and would instead be taking the fight to Hamas until it gets its hostages back.
Beginning, Prime Minister Netanyahu made sure to not attack America too much given the aid it has provided to his country and its military so far, saying, “I appreciate the consistent support of President Biden, the American administration and the American people.”
Continuing, he then changed tone a bit, noting that Israel has military might and isn’t afraid to wield it, so it will not countenance a ceasefire until its hostages are liberated from the clutches of the Hamas terrorists that so brutally kidnapped them and killed Israelis.
He said, “I conveyed to him that we are continuing with all our might. Israel refuses a temporary ceasefire that does not include the liberation of our hostages. Israel will not allow fuel into the Gaza Strip, and opposes the transfer of money into the Strip.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu added, “We won’t stop until victory.” Defining victory, he said that in this case it means “to destroy Hamas, [and attain the] return of the hostages and the restoration of security for our citizens and children.” He added, “We are trying to fight with minimal danger to our warriors, but we will do whatever is needed to defeat our enemies.”
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United States Secretary of State Blinken, for his part, said, “A number of legitimate questions were raised in our discussions today including how to use any period of pause to maximize the flow of humanitarian assistance, how to connect the pause to the release of hostages, how to ensure that Hamas doesn’t use these pauses or arrangements to its own advantage. These are issues that we need to tackle urgently, and we believe they can be solved.”
Blinken added, “I spoke to Israeli leaders about tangible steps that can be taken to increase the sustained delivery of food, water, medicine, fuel and other essential needs, while putting in place measures to prevent diversions by Hamas and other terrorist groups.”
President Biden, for his part, said, “Today, thanks to concerted American leadership, we’re in a situation where safe passage for wounded Palestinians and foreign nationals to exit Gaza has started. American citizens were able to exit today as part of the first group of probably over a thousand. We’ll see more of this process going on in the coming days. We’re working nonstop to get Americans out of Gaza as soon and as safely as possible. This is the result of intense and urgent American diplomacy with our partners in the region. I personally spent a lot of time speaking with the Prime Minister, Netanyahu, of Israel and President Sisi of Egypt and others to make sure that we could open this access for people to get out.”
He continued, “I want to thank our partners in the region and particularly Qatar, who have worked so closely with us to support negotiations to fa- — to facilitate the departure of these citizens. At the same time, we’re continuing working to significantly step up the flow of critical humanitarian assistance into Gaza. The number of trucks entering Gaza continues to increase significantly, but we still have a long way to go. The United States is going to continue to drive humanitarian support for innocent people in Gaza who need help. And they do need help.”
Featured image credit: By The White House – P20230920CS-0125, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=138659328
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