“One Step Away From Victory, No Ceasefire Until…”: Netanyahu On Gaza War

Netanyahu accused Iran of being behind several attacks against Israel “through its proxies”. (File)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said Israel was “one step away from victory” in the Gaza war and vowed there would be no truce until Hamas frees all hostages.

He was speaking in a cabinet meeting marking six months of the war that broke out on October 7 after an unprecedented attack on Israel by Hamas militants.

“We are one step away from victory,” Netanyahu said. “But the price we paid is painful and heartbreaking.”

Speaking as truce talks were expected to resume in Cairo with international mediators, he said: “There will be no ceasefire without the return of hostages. It just won’t happen.”

He stressed that “Israel is ready for a deal, Israel is not ready to surrender”.

“Instead of international pressure being directed at Israel, which only causes Hamas to harden its positions, the pressure of the international community should be directed against Hamas. This will advance the release of the hostages.”

Israel has faced a storm of international outrage over the killing of seven aid workers of the US-based food charity World Central Kitchen in a Gaza air strike on April 1.

US President Joe Biden in a phone call with Netanyahu on Thursday demanded an “immediate ceasefire” and hinted at making US support for Israel conditional on curtailing the killing of civilians and improving humanitarian conditions.

Netanyahu meanwhile accused Iran of being behind several attacks against Israel “through its proxies”.

“Anyone who hurts us or plans to hurt us — we will hurt him. We put this principle into practice, all the time and in recent days,” Netanyahu added.

Fears that the war in Gaza could spread have intensified after Iran vowed to hit back for the killing of seven of its Revolutionary Guards in an air strike Monday on the consular annex of its embassy in Damascus.

Iran’s leaders have pledged retaliation, and the leader of Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah movement, Hassan Nasrallah, has called the consulate strike a “turning point”.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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