The Israeli prime minister added that his country would not agree to a ceasefire “just as the United States would not agree to a ceasefire after the bombing of Pearl Harbor or the terrorist attack of 9/11”.
Mr Netanyahu gave a news conference this evening as Israel’s troops push deeper into Gaza, with the country’s chief military spokesperson warning the military operations in the territory will “escalate”.
He condemned the “barbarians” of Hamas for trying to destroy the “promise” of Israel’s future.
Mr Netanyahu also urged the world not to “surrender to tyranny and terror”.
“Israel did not start this war. Israel did not want this war. But Israel will win this war,” Mr Netanyahu said.
Hamas “raped women” and “beheaded men” during their surprise attack on 7 October, he added. He described their actions as the “most horrific crimes imaginable”.
“Israel is fighting the enemies of civilisation itself,” he said.
In a plea for sympathy from the international community, the Israeli leader said a distinction must be drawn between Hamas’s “deliberate targeting” of civilians and the “unintentional” casualties of Israel’s strikes in response.
“Hamas is doing everything to keep Palestinian civilians in harm’s way,” Mr Netanyahu added as he claimed the militant group has been using people in Gaza as human shields.
He also claimed Hamas militants have been holding Palestinians at gunpoint to prevent them leaving certain areas. The Israeli leader also said Hamas is preventing foreign nationals from leaving Gaza.
Mr Netanyahu said Israel has been “going out of our way” not to kill civilians in its attacks on Gaza.
He also said that “even the most just wars have unintended civilian casualties”.
More than 1,400 people have been killed in Israel during the conflict which broke out on 7 October, official Israeli sources have said. Meanwhile, more than 8,300 people have been killed in Gaza in Israel’s retaliatory strikes on the territory, the Hamas-led health ministry has said.
Mr Netanyahu closed his speech by saying: “The Bible says that there is a time for peace and a time for war.
“This is a time for war, a war for a common future. Today, we draw a line between the forces of civilisation and the forces of barbarism.
“It is a time for everyone to decide where they stand. Israel will stand against the forces of barbarism until victory. I hope and pray that civilised nations everywhere will back this fight.
“Because Israel’s fight is your fight. Because if Hamas and Iran’s axis of evil win, you will be their next target.
“That’s why Israel’s victory will be your victory.”
Mr Netanyahu was also asked about reports his support among the Israeli people has fallen considerably since Hamas’s attack took the country’s intelligence agency by surprise.
Asked if he would step down, the Israeli leader said: “The only thing that I intend to have resigned is Hamas. We’re going to resign them to the dustbin of history. That’s my goal. That’s my responsibility. That’s what I’m leading the country to do. This my responsibility now. And it’s something that I think unites the entire country.”
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