Israel-Hamas war: Netanyahu vows military will press on in Gaza

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

The Israeli army will keep up its air and ground campaign to crush Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, in spite of growing calls for a ceasefire and the calamitous humanitarian situation in the Palestinian territory.

“We are continuing until the end. There is no question whatsoever about this,” he said by radio to soldiers in Gaza, according to his office.

“I also say this in light of the great pain, but also in the face of the international pressures.

“Nothing will stop us. We are going on to the end, until victory, nothing less,” he continued.

Israel has lost international support for its war against the terrorist organisation Hamas as the death toll in Gaza spirals upwards and the misery grows for the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who have had to flee their homes.

At the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, more than 150 countries delivered a stinging – if largely symbolic – rebuke to Israel by demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire after nearly 10 weeks of war.

Even U.S. President Joe Biden pointed out that Israel’s “indiscriminate bombing” of Gaza was costing in international support.

Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan was expected to visit Israel on Thursday and meet with Netanyahu.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Sullivan would have “extremely serious conversations – and we hope they will be constructive as well.”

The talks will focus on the next phase of military operations in the Gaza Strip and Israeli efforts to take more precise action and reduce the damage to the civilian population, Kirby said.

Israel has kept up its unrelenting attacks on Gaza, saying on Wednesday morning that it had attacked more than 250 positions in the Gaza Strip in a single day.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said that the military had carried out “precise attacks on terrorist targets” from the air, on the ground, and from the sea.

Palestinian militants fired rockets towards Israel again on Wednesday.

According to the army, rocket alarms were triggered in border towns near the Gaza Strip.

A large piece of debris from a rocket intercepted by Israel’s air defences crashed into the middle of a supermarket in the coastal city of Ashdod.

Images from a surveillance camera showed a heavy metal pipe smashing through the ceiling of the building and crashing into the displays along with debris from the roof.

No one was injured because customers and employees of the store had earlier taken shelter, wrote the manager of the supermarket on social media.

Israel’s army also announced the deaths of 10 soldiers who were killed in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday.

A total of 115 Israeli military personnel have been killed since the start of the ground offensive.

The Gaza war was triggered by the worst massacre in Israel’s history, carried out by terrorists from Hamas and other extremist groups on Oct. 7.

More than 1,200 people were killed on the Israeli side, most of them civilians.

Israeli forces have launched continuous attacks on Gaza since Oct. 7, destroying large parts of the densely populated Palestinian coastal territory.

According to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry, more than 18,600 people have already been killed and more than 50,000 injured in the Israeli attacks.

Many Gazans were sleeping out in the open even as heavy rain inundated the strip in recent days.

According to the United Nations, half of the population in the Gaza Strip is now starving and over 80 per cent of the 2.3 million population has been displaced within the coastal area. (dpa /NAN)