Gaza/Jerusalem (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is generally ready for shorter ceasefires in order to provide the people in the Gaza Strip with the essentials.
Netanyahu told the US broadcaster ABC News that he still rejects a general ceasefire without the release of the hostages kidnapped by the radical Islamic Hamas. “As far as short tactical breaks – an hour here, an hour there – we’ve already had them,” he added. The circumstances could be examined so that humanitarian goods could enter the Gaza Strip or individual hostages could get out.
According to the Hamas-controlled health authority in the Gaza Strip, more than 10,000 people, including around 4,100 children, have been killed so far in Israel’s retaliatory campaign for the massacre on October 7th. Many of Israel’s allies, including the United States, are calling for a ceasefire so that humanitarian aid can be provided. Netanyahu had so far categorically rejected this. In the interview, Netanyahu also spoke about the prospects after an end to Israeli military action. Israel will have to take control of the Gaza Strip for an indefinite period of time, he said.
We have seen what happens if Israel is not responsible for security in the coastal strip, he said, referring to October 7th. A good four weeks ago, Hamas fighters stormed Israeli territory and killed around 1,400 people, most of them civilians. Since then, Israel has been waging a campaign against Hamas with the stated goal of destroying the organization with its headquarters in Gaza City. According to their own statements, the Israeli military has now encircled Gaza City. Hamas said it fired 16 rockets into Israel, targeting Nahariya and Haifa.
(Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi and Emily Rose; Edited by Alexander Ratz; Edited by Kerstin Dörr; If you have any questions, please contact our editorial team at [email protected])