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Netanyahu refuses to end Gaza war

Israeli air strike kills director of Gaza’s Ambulance and Emergency Department

ISRAELI Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today said that he would not agree to a deal to end his war in Gaza but only to a “partial” ceasefire agreement.

In an interview with Israeli Channel 14, Mr Netanyahu said that he was  “prepared to make a partial deal — this is no secret — that will return to us some of the people,” referring to the roughly 120 hostages still held in the Gaza Strip.

“But we are committed to continuing the war after a pause, in order to complete the goal of eliminating Hamas,” he said.

“I’m not willing to give up on that.”

Hamas has insisted it will not release the remaining hostages unless there is a permanent ceasefire and a full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza.

When US President Joe Biden announced the latest proposal last month, he said it included both.

In the interview, Mr Netanyahu said that the current phase of fighting is ending, setting the stage for Israel to send more troops to its northern border to confront the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.

But he said that did not mean the war in Gaza was over.

Hamas said Mr Netanyahu’s comment was “in contrast” to what the US administration said Israel had approved.

The group said that its insistence that any deal should include a permanent ceasefire and the withdrawal of all Israeli forces out of the entire Gaza Strip “was an inevitable necessity to block Netanyahu’s attempts of evasion, deception and perpetuation of aggression and the war of extermination against our people.”

Mr Netanyahu’s comments sparked uproar from the families of the remaining hostages, who called it “an abandonment” of the hostages and “a violation of the state’s moral duty toward its citizens.”

Israel’s eight-month-long attack on Gaza has killed more than 37,000 people, including at least 500 medical staff.

An air strike at a medical clinic in Gaza City today killed the director of Gaza’s Ambulance and Emergency Department, according to the Health Ministry.

The Israeli military said that the strike targeted Mohammed Salah, who it said was responsible for developing Hamas weaponry.

At least 300 medical staff have been detained by Israeli forces since October 7.

An aid distribution centre was also hit today, with the military saying it was being used by Hamas.

It did not provide evidence for either claim.


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