Vowing ‘total victory,’ Netanyahu declares Israel has destroyed half of all Hamas forces

Israeli premier says half of Hamas terrorists are dead or wounded, vows strike a ‘mortal blow’ against ‘axis of evil’ led by Iran.

By David Rosenberg, World Israel News

The IDF has cut Hamas’ military capacity in half, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday during a visit with Israeli troops in central Israel.

Netanyahu met with soldiers from the 8104th Battalion of the 179th Brigade at the IDF Armored Corps Memorial at Latrun Monday, spoke with the battalion’s company commanders, led by IDF Chief Armored Officer Brig.-Gen. Ohad Maor, and was briefed on the activity of the battalion since the outbreak of the war.

The prime minister vowed “total victory” against Hamas, adding that Israel’s defeat of the Gaza terrorist group would strike a “mortal blow” against the “axis of evil” led by Iran – borrowing the phrase coined by then-President George W. Bush in 2002 linking Iran, Iraq, and North Korea.

“I told your commanders that several days ago, I received a cap with two words on it: ‘Total victory.’ This is the essence of our policy – total victory over Hamas.”

“Total victory is essential because it ensures the security of Israel. Total victory is the only way in which we can ensure additional historic peace agreements, which await. Total victory will strike a mortal blow against the axis of evil: Iran, Hezbollah, the Houthis and – of course – Hamas.”

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“Therefore, there is no substitute for total victory. One need only to think of what would happen without total victory: The displaced will not return, the next massacre will only be a matter of time and Iran, Hezbollah and others will simply celebrate here and destroy the Middle East; therefore, there is no substitute for total victory.”

Netanyahu told soldiers that Israel has thus far destroyed half of Hamas’ military capabilities, leaving roughly half of its terrorists dead or wounded and 18 of its 24 battalions non-operational.

“By our calculation, as of today we have already destroyed – meaning, we have either killed or wounded – over half of their force. We have destroyed 18 of their 24 battalions.”

“We are engaged in active demilitarization by conducting raids against the remaining terrorists and we are destroying the underground networks. We are on the way to total victory and I want to tell you that we are committed to it and will not give up on it. We will not stop the war without achieving this goal of total victory, which will restore security to both the south and the north.”