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Netanyahu Rejects ‘International Pressure’ To Stop His 'Final Solution' of Hamas

With the vast majority of Israelis saying that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should resign, he doubled down on his reckless course, one that apparently has less to do with defending Israel than defending his completely bankrupt political career. According to a Channel 13 news survey published earlier in December, 70% of Israelis believe Netanyahu should resign as prime minister.

On Dec. 30, he convened a press conference at IDF headquarters to say that the war on Gaza will go on for many months, that Israel is ready to fight Lebanon and Iran, and that he is needed to stay in power after Hamas is wiped out. Asked about his plans for the day the war on Hamas ends, given the calls for him to resign, Netanyahu replied: “The only thing I’m going to resign from is Hamas. In the years I’ve led the State of Israel, it got much stronger.” So, after the war, Israel is also to militarily occupy Gaza, including Gaza’s border with Egypt, and he will allow neither the Palestinian Authority nor Hamas to take charge of Gaza. He repeated his favorite line: “Not Fatahstan and not Hamastan.”

So much for after the fighting, but the focus must remain continued warfare. He cited the fact that “we can manage a multi-front campaign”—that is, Gaza, the West Bank and Lebanon—that will soon have lasted 90 days, with a “wonderful army,” a strong economy and “international backing.... My policy is clear: We continue to fight until all the objectives of the war have been achieved, primarily the elimination of Hamas and the release of all our hostages.” He pledged to “guarantee that Gaza will no longer pose a threat to Israel.” That will take “many more months.… To achieve absolute victory, to fulfill all our goals, more time is needed. We act all the time with determination and strength, and I would like to emphasize—we do this while protecting the lives of our fighters as much as possible.” We are now “deepening the fight against Hamas.… Over 8,000 terrorists have been killed” and Hamas’s military capabilities are being destroyed “step by step.... As prime minister, I have rejected the international pressure aimed at stopping the war before we achieve these goals” of wiping out Hamas, etc.

Of some note, Netanyahu’s arithmetic concedes that Israel has killed 13,000 civilians. Even by his reckoning of 8,000 Hamas killed in 12 weeks, since Israel’s pre-war estimate of Hamas had it around 30,000 or so, it would take at present levels of violence, 35 more weeks of invasion and around 36,000 more civilian deaths to complete the job.

Yet, while that war continues, Netanyahu is ready to expand Israel’s military campaign to Lebanon and Iran: “If Hezbollah widens the fighting, it will absorb strikes it never dreamed of. And so, too, Iran,” he pledged. “We will fight by all means until we have restored security for the residents of the north.”