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Israel enters next phase of war

Updated: Dec 13, 2023

Netanyahu says Israel will not accept a ceasefire with Hamas.

By Star Eisenberg, Online Editor

Pro-Palestinian protestors gathered in Pershing Square to wave flags and shout phrases deriding the ongoing conflict in Israel. (Suey Herrarte | Valley Star)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during a briefing Monday Israel will not agree to a ceasefire with Hamas, adding that Israel did not start this war, but it will win.

“Just as the United States would not agree to a ceasefire after the bombing of Pearl Harbor or after the terrorist attack of 9/11, Israel will not agree to a cessation of hostilities with Hamas after the horrific attacks of October 7,” said Netanyahu.

Israeli troops and tanks raided northern Gaza last week, launching a probing action in preparation for a much larger ground offensive.

The raid comes after Israel dropped leaflets from the north Gaza sky October 13, 2023 ordering more than 1 million residents to move south. Gaza’s 2.3 million civilians face intensifying struggles for food, water, and safety more than two weeks after Hamas militants launched a deadly attack on Israel. Hamas is currently holding a number of hostages. Four have been released so far. Humanitarian relief efforts are being delayed for now in order to buy time for hostage negotiations and urban warfare.

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians evacuated the northern half of the territory. Others refused to leave. Some huddled at hospitals in the north amid blistering airstrikes. Medics in Gaza warn that thousands could die as hospitals packed with wounded people run desperately low on fuel and basic supplies.

Israel Defense Forces launched Operation Iron Swords, in response to the attack, with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant warning that the besieged Gaza Strip would be cut off from electricity, water, and gas.

“We will wipe this thing called Hamas, ISIS-Gaza, off the face of the earth,” said Gallant. “It will cease to exist.”

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict dates back to the early days of the state of Israel. It is primarily centered around territorial disputes regarding the Gaza, West Bank, and East Jerusalem.

Israel claims that the Palestinians have no desire to achieve peace and want to completely eradicate the Jewish presence from the land. The Palestinians claim that Israel’s system of oppression against Palestinians is a crime of apartheid and humanity. Hamas is a Palestinian-Islamist militant group which rules the Gaza Strip.

President Biden said he doubts the accuracy of the death-toll numbers being released by Palestinian authorities.

“I have no notion that the Palestinians are telling the truth about how many people are killed,” Biden said during a news conference. “I have no confidence in the number that the Palestinians are using.”

The Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health reports that over 8,000 people have been killed in Gaza by Israeli strikes since the militant group's October 7, 2023 attack on Israel.

Netanyahu says, “Calls for a ceasefire are a call for Israel to surrender to Hamas, to surrender to terrorism, to surrender to barbarism. That will not happen. The Bible says that there is a time for peace and a time for war. This is a time for war.”


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