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“We will kill the Hamas leaders”

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“We will kill the Hamas leaders”

House destroyed by Israeli bombings in the Gaza Strip. EFE/EPA/MOHAMMED KNOW

The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahuannounced this Monday that the war in Gaza Strip will not end until the death of the leaders of Hamaswhich he predicted “will take months, not years,” despite new fighting in the northern and central areas previously under military rule.

«Our goal is a complete victory over Hamas. We will kill the Hamas leaders, so we must continue to act in all areas of the Gaza Strip. The war must not end before that date. It will take us time, months, (but) not years.”the president said at a meeting of his party, the coalition Likud.

Members of the families of the 136 people who, after 122 days of war, are still kidnapped in the Gaza Strip, could not attend this meeting, local media reported today, despite the fact that their access has been guaranteed in previous meetings.

Behind closed doors, Netanyahu took credit for the November release of 110 hostages, telling members of his party that he “will continue to act on this issue” but that Hamas seeks to impose demands it will not accept.

“The key to their freedom (of the hostages) should be similar to the previous agreement”explained the president, who repeated that “it will not be done at any price.”

In the November swap, a total of 105 hostages (following five earlier ones) were freed in exchange for 240 Palestinian prisoners, many of them in administrative detention without trial.

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But according to leaks from the latest negotiations, and although the draft agreement has not been made public, the Palestinian factions are now demanding the release of some 100 or 150 hostage detainees, including high-profile prisoners such as Marwan Barghoutiwho is serving five life sentences.

On January 30, Netanyahu already advanced, while new negotiations were taking place in Paris under the mediation of Qatar y Egyptwhich was not going to free “thousands of terrorists” or withdraw its troops from the Strip, another of Hamas’ requirements, until “absolute victory.”

In the Gaza Strip, the death toll increased today, after 113 fatalities in the last 24 hours, to 27,478 dead and at least 66,835 injured, according to the latest data released by the Gaza Ministry of Health, controlled by Hamas.

The Israeli Army confirmed that fighting has intensified in the north and center of the Strip, after Israel focused its offensive on Jan Yunisin order to prevent “Hamas from rebuilding its capabilities” in these areas, a military statement detailed today.

During an incursion last week into Gaza City, reduced to smithereens after months of bombing, and into the Al Shati refugee camp, both in the north of the enclave, the army claimed today to have killed “hundreds of terrorists and arrested to dozens.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a speech at an event following the first session of the newly elected Knesset in Jerusalem, March 31, 2015. (AP Photo/Gali Tibbon, Pool)

«This is an area that initially required three divisions and three days to reach it. Now, two combat teams reached this area in an hour and a half,” the commander of the 162nd division explained in a statement. Itzik Cohenwhich operates in the north.

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The presence of troops in these areas has also been felt by overwhelmed medical teams that operate under extreme danger, when they are not directly attacked by soldiers as in the Al Amal Hospital (south), every time they try to move to help the patients. wounded.

In the center of the enclave, at least four civilians were killed and dozens wounded in a combined attack by aircraft and artillery against a house in the Al Hakar neighborhood, the official Palestinian Wafa agency reported.

In another attack against a house in the area of Al Zawaidato the north of Dear Al Balah, an Israeli aerial bombardment also killed eight Palestinians, most of them children, according to local medical sources; in a war that will still claim the lives of more civilians. EFE (I)

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