Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ruled out a ceasefire in Gaza, saying the military was performing “exceptionally well.”
Netanyahu stated this on Thursday while addressing issues regarding the continuous calls for a ceasefire.
“A ceasefire with Hamas means surrender,” he told Fox News, adding there was no “timetable” for the military offensive.
“I think the Israeli army is performing exceptionally well,” he added.
“However long it takes, we’ll do it.”
RFI reports that Benjamin Netanyahu also said his country does not intend to occupy or govern Gaza after the end of its war with Hamas, but the enclave musderadicalizedarised, deradicalized, and rebuilt”.
In the interview aired on Thursday, Netanyahu said that Israel would need to find a “civilian government” to govern the enclave, which has been run by Hamas since 2006, without specifying who would form such a body.
“We don’t seek to govern Gaza, we don’t seek to occupy it. But we seek to give it and us a better future… and that requires defeating Hamas,” he said. “I’ve set goals, I didn’t set a timetable because it can take more time.”
Netanyahu said that a “credible force” would be needed to enter Gaza as necessary to “kill the killers” and “prevent the re-emergence of a Hamas-like entity.”
Netanyahu’s comments come days after he said Israel would take responsibility for Gaza’s security for an “indefinite period” after the end of its war with Hamas, prompting pushback from the United States.
Similarly, Israel Defense Forces on Thursday said there would be no ceasefire.
In a tweet on its X handle, the IDF said, “There is no ceasefire. There are tactical, local pauses for humanitarian aid for Gazan civilians. These tactical pauses are limited in time and area. We are also providing humanitarian corridors for civilians in Gaza to temporarily move south to safer areas where they can receive humanitarian aid.
“Our war is with Hamas and not with the people of Gaza.”
On Tuesday, White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said that President Joe Biden did not believe that reoccupying Gaza would be the “right thing to do”.
Israel withdrew its soldiers and Israeli settlers from Gaza in 2005, but continues to maintain a blockade that controls almost all access to the Hamas-governed, enclave by land, air, and sea.
US officials have previously suggested that the Palestinian Authority should govern Gaza after the war, which Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said would only be possible under a political solution that returns territory captured by Israel in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.