Netanayhu: Hamas Was ‘Persuaded’ to Accept Cease-Fire Due to ‘Accumulation of Blows’
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday said Hamas accepted the newly enacted cease-fire agreement with Israel as a result of a build up of pressure on the terror group.
“They kept testing us and every time we struck them but the last time, given this accumulation of blows, they were persuaded,” Netanyahu said in a meeting with mayors and council heads from Israel’s south. “They acceded to the same Egyptian cease-fire proposal that we were ready to accept directly at the outset without time constraints and without any of the conditions that they set. They got to this point the hard way.”
“Last week they violated a cease-fire again and they thought that they could wear us down and I told them that instead of wearing us down they would be hit very hard and even their terrorist buildings were toppled and their senior commanders were hit,” he added.
Israeli leaders in the south are skeptical of the new cease-fire deal with Hamas, questioning whether or not it will ensure long-term security in their areas. In response, Netanyahu stressed on Thursday that his commitment to the south “is very deep” and that his office is making efforts to “solve the problems and create possibilities.” He also noted that a major aid package will be designated on Sunday to residents of the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip and – later on – a general assistance package for the entire south.
At the meeting on Thursday, Be’er Sheva Mayor Rubik Danilovitz said he believes the Israeli government is dedicated to protecting its citizens.
“The job of all of us is to give the government and the IDF the time needed to make the right decision, the military decision, the diplomatic decision,” he said. “Our job is to prepare the public for any scenario. This is how we acted.”