Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said Saturday that its war against Hamas will last “many months.”
This is as he renewed his pledge to eliminate the Palestinian militant group from Gaza.
Vowing to bring home all Israelis still held hostage in Gaza, Netanyahu said the military was involved in a “complex fight” and needed time to achieve its goals.
“The war will continue for many months until Hamas is eliminated and the hostages are returned,” Netanyahu told a news conference.
“We will guarantee that Gaza will no longer pose a threat to Israel,” he said, adding that around 8,000 militants had already been killed in Israel’s military campaign in the Palestinian territory.
“Step by step we are depriving Hamas of their capabilities… We will also eliminate the leaders,” he added.
The war between Israel and Hamas erupted after Hamas fighters carried out a deadly attack on southern Israel on October 7 that killed about 1,140 people, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli figures.
International mediators, who last month brokered a week-long truce that saw more than 100 hostages released and some aid enter Gaza have continued in their efforts to secure a new pause in fighting.
When asked if a new deal for hostage releases was being negotiated, Netanyahu said Hamas had been “giving all kinds of ultimatums that we didn’t accept.
“We are seeing a certain shift (but) I don’t want to create an expectation,” he said without elaborating.