Netanyahu vows ‘painful blows’ to Hamas, compares terror group to Pharaoh

“In every generation they rise up to destroy us, and the Holy One, blessed be He, saves us from them.”

By David Rosenberg, World Israel News

Israel is preparing to escalate its military campaign against the Hamas organization in the Gaza Strip, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday, just weeks after the IDF withdrew most of its ground forces from southern Gaza.

The prime minister issued a video message in Hebrew Sunday, highlighting the upcoming Passover festival, which begins Monday at sundown, and announcing plans for increased military and diplomatic “pressure” on Hamas to return the 133 Israeli captives remaining in Gaza.

“On this night, 133 of our dear brothers and sisters are not around the Seder table, and they are still held hostage by Hamas in hellish conditions,” Netanyahu said.

“We have already freed 124 of our hostages and we are committed to returning them all home – the living and the deceased alike. And why is this night not different?”

“That in every generation they rise up to destroy us, and the Holy One, blessed be He, saves us from them.”

Netanyahu blamed Hamas for the stalled hostage talks in Cairo, highlighting comments by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken accusing the Gaza terror group of not negotiating in good faith.

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“Unfortunately, until now, all proposals for releasing the hostages have been rejected outright by Hamas. Therefore, the American Secretary of State rightly said that Hamas has refused every proposal that it has been presented with. In his words, the only thing preventing a hostage release deal is Hamas.”

The Israeli premier compared Hamas to the biblical Pharaoh, and pledged that the IDF would strike “painful blows” to the terror group in the near future.

“Instead of withdrawing from its extreme positions, Hamas is counting on a rift among us. It draws encouragement from the pressure being directed at the Government of Israel.”

“As a result of this, it has only hardened its conditions for the release of our hostages. It is hardening its heart and refusing to let our people go. Therefore, we will strike it with additional painful blows – and this will happen soon.”

“In the coming days, we will increase the military and diplomatic pressure on Hamas because this is the only way to free our hostages and achieve our victory.”

Responding to reports over the weekend that the Biden administration plans to blacklist the IDF’s ultra-Orthodox Netzah Yehuda battalion, Netanyahu said his government would do everything possible to defy the sanctions.

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“I will strongly defend the IDF, our army and our fighters. If somebody thinks they can impose sanctions on a unit in the IDF – I will fight this with all my powers.”

“As our soldiers are united in defending us on the battlefield, we are united in defending them in the diplomatic arena.”