PM says open to partial pause and hostage deal but war won’t end until Hamas destroyed

The Times of Israel reports: “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said that Israel was prepared to pause fighting in Gaza for a partial deal in exchange for the return of a number of hostages held by Hamas, but insisted the war will not end until the terror group is destroyed.

Netanyahu also said the intense fighting phase in the Gaza Strip was winding down as Israel increasingly readies for a potential outright conflict with Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which has been intensifying its cross-border attacks on Israel.

Netanyahu was speaking on the right-wing Channel 14 in his first interview with a Hebrew-language outlet since Hamas’s October 7 terror onslaught.

Asked whether he was prepared to reach an agreement with Hamas after the high-intensity phase of the conflict is over that would constitute a commitment to end the war, Netanyahu said: ‘No. I’m not prepared to end the war and leave Hamas standing. I am prepared to do a partial deal, that’s no secret, that would return some of the people to us.’

‘But we are obligated to continue the fighting after a pause in order to complete our goal of destroying Hamas,’ he told the TV channel’s ‘The Patriots’ program. ‘I’m not prepared to give up on that.’…”

View Original Article