Israel-Hamas war will continue even if ceasefire deal agreed -Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has indicated that he is open to a “partial” deal that would facilitate the return of some captives still held in Gaza, even if not all.

He reiterated, however, that he would not agree to any deal that stipulated an end to Israel’s war on Gaza, despite previous claims by the United States that an Israeli proposal would be a pathway to ending the offensive.

“The goal is to return the kidnapped and uproot the Hamas regime in Gaza,” he said in an interview with Israeli media outlet Channel 14 on Sunday.

Tens of thousands of Israelis have consistently rallied against Netanyahu and his government, demanding early elections and a deal to return the captives.

Last month, US President Joe Biden announced a proposal for a ceasefire, which would see a six-week pause in fighting as well as the release of some Israeli captives in Gaza and Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails. These exchanges would then enable negotiations for a permanent ceasefire.

While US officials have insisted that Israel authored the proposal, various Israeli officials, including Netanyahu, have pledged to continue fighting until Hamas is eliminated, and have refused to publicly endorse it fully.

Netanyahu also told Channel 14 that Israel’s “intense” military offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah was nearly over.

“The intense phase of the fighting against Hamas is about to end,” he said. “It doesn’t mean that the war is about to end, but the war in its intense phase is about to end in Rafah.”



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