Netanyahu: Not ‘At Any Price’

( – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made a strong vow not to give in to international demands for a cease-fire in the conflict with Hamas.

During a visit to the IDF Sky Rider Unit at the Zikim Base, near the Gaza Strip border, Netanyahu expressed Israel’s position.

He stated, “There is considerable pressure on Israel at home and abroad to stop the war before we achieve all of its goals, including a deal at any price to free the hostages.” He emphasized Israel’s refusal to meet Hamas’s high demands, which he views as tantamount to Israel’s defeat.

Netanyahu’s commitment is clear: to continue the fight until Hamas is eliminated, all hostages are freed, and the Gaza Strip no longer poses a threat to Israel. “There is no pressure, none, that can change this,” he declared. His determination was underscored during a recent address to the nation, where he addressed critiques suggesting that Israel should cease fighting before attacking Gaza’s southernmost city of Rafah. Netanyahu sees such suggestions as calls for Israel to accept defeat against Hamas. “Whoever wants to prevent us from operating in Rafah is telling us in effect to lose the war. I will not allow this. … We will not surrender to any pressure. We will not surrender, because we are a people of heroes. We will not surrender because we are a people that desires life. We will not surrender because we must — must — defeat the evil,” he stated.

The backdrop to Netanyahu’s firm stance is a demand from U.S. President Joe Biden for a temporary cease-fire to secure the release of hostages in Gaza, urging for a deal before any Israeli military operation in Rafah. Israel has identified four Hamas battalions in Rafah, which now hosts over 1.5 million people, more than half of Gaza’s population, following directives from the Israel Defense Forces.

Netanyahu also called on the international community to pressure Qatar to facilitate the release of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza. This comes amid stalled talks, mediated by Qatari and Egyptian intermediaries, over the release of the remaining hostages. According to Israel about 100 of the 134 hostages being held are believed to be alive.