Netanyahu rejects Hamas demands: ‘We will fight until Hamas is eliminated’

Israeli Prime Minister rejects ceasefire as precondition to talks for hostage deal, vows to eliminate Hamas.

By World Israel News Staff

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected demands Thursday issued by the Hamas terror organization that the two sides enter a ceasefire as a precondition to talks aimed at securing the release of additional Israeli hostages held in Gaza.

On Thursday, a senior Hamas told AFP that “a total ceasefire and a retreat of the Israeli occupation army from the Gaza Strip are a precondition for any serious negotiation” on a new hostage deal.

Israel and Hamas have reportedly been in talks, using Qatar as a broker, for a possible one or two-week ceasefire, during which time dozens of Israeli captives – perhaps as many as 40 – would be released in exchange for the freeing of jailed Palestinian terrorists.

But Prime Minister Netanyahu ruled out agreeing to Hamas’ precondition Thursday, vowing to eliminate the terror group, and hinted that the Gaza Strip would not be given to Palestinian Authority control.

“We are fighting until victory,” Netanyahu said in a video statement.

“We will not stop the war until we achieve all of its goals: Completing the elimination of Hamas and releasing all of our hostages.”

“The choice I propose to Hamas is very simple: Surrender or die. They do not have – and will not have – any other choice.”

“And after we eliminate Hamas, I will use all my power to ensure that Gaza never again threatens Israel – neither Hamastan nor Fatahstan.”

The Prime Minister made similar comments a day earlier, when he said Hamas terrorists in Gaza are “dead men walking,” and said they could either “surrender or die.”

This week, the foreign ministers of Britain and Germany penned an op-ed piece calling for a “sustainable” ceasefire between Israel and Gaza, the first call by the two countries for an end to the war.

On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also offered his backing for a quick end to the conflict, saying that the Biden administration will seek a cessation of hostilities “as quickly as possible” in the new year.