Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected international calls for an Israeli ceasefire in Gaza during a press conference on Monday.
Since the Hamas-led infiltration attack on October 7 that killed around 1,400 people, Israeli forces have waged a genocidal bombing campaign against Palestinians, killing more than 8,300 people in Gaza — more than a third of whom are children, according to the latest figures from the Gaza Health Ministry. Thousands more Gazans are estimated to be trapped under the rubble.
Israeli airstrikes have displaced millions of Gazans from their homes, many of whom are now struggling to survive — and resorting to drinking contaminated sea water — as Israel blocks food, water, electricity and medicine from entering Gaza.
“Just as the United States would not agree to a cease-fire after Pearl Harbor or after the terrorist attack of 9/11, Israel will not agree to a cessation of hostilities with Hamas after the horrific attacks of October 7,” Netanyahu told reporters on Monday.
Netanyahu’s comments come as hundreds of thousands of protesters worldwide have demanded an immediate ceasefire and for Israel to allow desperately needed aid into Gaza, as well as for an end to Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian land. Although Netanyahu has claimed that aid has been reaching those in need, observers on the ground have disputed these claims.
“Very few trucks, slow processes, strict inspections, supplies that do not match the requirements of UNRWA and the other aid organizations, and mostly the ongoing ban on fuel, are all a recipe for a failed system,” read a report from Thomas White, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency’s top official for Gaza.
Hundreds of thousands of people protested against the Israeli military’s siege of Gaza in cities across the globe over the weekend, including in Melbourne, Australia; London, United Kingdom; Toronto, Canada; New York, United States; Rome, Italy; Amman, Jordan; Berlin, Germany; Pretoria, South Africa; and more.
Netanyahu, who faces calls to resign from his role as prime minister for failing to prevent the October 7 attack from Hamas, didn’t appear to be moved by the calls for a ceasefire and an end to the occupation. “This is a time for war,” he said instead.
Meanwhile, residents of Israel appear to be changing their views on the attacks in Gaza. Polling from last week, taken prior to the Israeli military launching a ground campaign, indicates that close to one in two Israeli residents (49 percent) wanted the Israel Defense Forces to pause consideration of such moves, with only 29 percent stating they wanted the military to immediately launch a ground campaign, a decrease from a poll asking the same question a week before.
Other polling taken earlier this month found that the vast majority of Israeli residents agree that Netanyahu was largely responsible for failing to prepare for an attack from Hamas, with 80 percent in that poll saying so.
Evidence suggests that Netanyahu did in fact have advance warning about the Hamas attack on October 7. Egyptian officials say they repeatedly warned the prime minister days ahead of the attack that the action from Hamas was imminent. Netanyahu’s office has denied that they received any information from Egypt, although the chairman of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, Texas Republican Rep. Michael McCaul, has said that he and other members have seen evidence of the warnings.
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