Israel says the war will continue until the eradication of Hamas, underlining that the future of the region and the world depends on the outcome of the conflict.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in an exclusive interview with Fox News on Thursday, declared that this is a war between “the entire civilized world and barbarism,” noting that a victory by Iran’s axis of terror -- including Hamas, Hezbollah, and Houthis-- will plunge the region and the world into a dark era.
Admitting that Israel’s retaliatory offensive into Gaza is “taking a little longer than” he had hoped, he highlighted that Israel would not agree to a ceasefire because “our future, the future of our neighbors, the future of Palestinians and the future of the world is related to who wins.”
“Does the axis of terror of Iran, Hezbollah, and Houthis win? Or do the forces of progress and prosperity – Israel, the US, the modern Arab states win?” he said, adding that if “the bad guys” win, “they can cast the Middle East and the entire world into another period of dark ages.”
"A cease-fire with Hamas means surrender to Hamas, surrender to terror and the victory of the Iran's axis of terror, so there won't be a cease-fire without the release of Israeli hostages," he insisted.
"We don't seek to conquer Gaza, we don't seek to occupy Gaza, and we don't seek to govern Gaza," Netanyahu said, adding that “we have to have a credible force that, if necessary, will enter Gaza and kill the killers. Because that's what will prevent the reemergence of a Hamas-like entity.”
Washington has said it would oppose Israeli post-war occupation of Gaza, where Israel has waged a bombing campaign to destroy the enclave's Hamas rulers after militants rampaged through southern Israeli communities on October 7 in an attack that Israel says killed 1,400 mostly civilians.