July 13, 2024

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July 13, 2024

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Netanyahu: The Return Of Hostages Is ‘a Sacred Task’; We Will Continue To Fight Until Absolute Victory

Below is the speech of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered at a press conference Wednesday Evening following announcements of a negotiated deal for the release of Israeli hostages currently being held by Hamas terrorists:

“Citizens of Israel, at the start of my remarks, I would like to speak to the families of the hostages, our brothers and sisters. Last night, I convened the Government in order to approve the first stage of the outline for returning the hostages. Since the start of the war, I have not stopped thinking about you, the families. I have met with you and have heard from you what you are enduring. I have heard from you about the continuing nightmare, the tribulations of uncertainty, the endless worrying. When I meet with you, you put the photos of your loved ones on your chests, on your hearts, and I and my colleagues see all the photos; they are a call to action.
 
Since the outbreak of the war, we have indeed been working relentlessly to bring them all back home. And when I say all of them – I mean all of them, including Oron, Hadar, Avra and Hisham.
 
We have clearly defined the goals of the war: Eliminate Hamas, free our hostages and ensure that on the day after Hamas, Gaza will no longer constitute a threat to Israel. We said that we would act to create the conditions for returning the hostages and we created them. What paved the way to the current outline is the combination of two main efforts. The first effort, is the massive, relentless military pressure that we are using against Hamas. I want to commend the IDF and the ISA for the immense work that they are doing to create this pressure. The second effort is the great diplomatic pressure that we are using for the release of our hostages. We conducted difficult negotiations; we fought to improve the outline. I have just spoken again with President Biden and thanked him for acting, as per my request, with the intermediaries to significantly improve the outline; such an improvement has been achieved.
 
This combination of the military and diplomatic efforts created the conditions for returning our hostages. I believe that this combination will also facilitate the release of additional hostages in the next stages. The outline that has been achieved does not include the release of murderers. It does include visits by Red Cross representatives to the hostages and the delivery of medicines to them. I heard that there is someone denying this. The Red Cross says that it has not heard; then here is the explicit clause: ‘The Red Cross will be allowed to visit the remaining hostages and provide them with needed medicine.’ I expect the Red Cross to do its work.
 
Citizens of Israel, as Prime Minister of Israel, I frequently face tough decisions, between a difficult choice and an even more difficult choice. It is especially so on the issue of the hostages. The effort to bring all of them home is ongoing and at this time we can achieve the release of infants and children, mothers and women, who have swords at their necks. This is the precept of redeeming captives which we have a moral obligation to carry out.
 
In the history of the State of Israel, we have released hostages in highly feasible military operations. We have done this despite the heavy price that we have had to pay. It happened at the Savoy Hotel, at Entebbe, on a SABENA jet, and in other cases. It has also happened in this war; several weeks ago, we freed the soldier Ori Megidish in a daring military action. But military operations are not always possible. Therefore, we are not waiting. We are utilizing every sliver of opportunity to release our hostages because returning them is a sacred task.
 
The IDF and all of the security services fully support the outline. They reiterated at yesterday’s Government meeting that the security of our forces will be assured during the days of the pause and that the intelligence effort will be maintained during these days. And the IDF will, at this time, be preparing for the continuation of the war.
 
This morning, the Government made a decision and I and my colleagues believe with all our hearts, that it was the correct decision. I thank my colleagues for the joint position – Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Minister Benny Gantz and the Government ministers, IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Herzi Halevi, Mossad Director David Barnea, ISA Director Ronen Bar, Maj.-Gen. (Ret.) Nitzan Alon, Brig.-Gen. (Ret.) Gal Hirsh and all those who have helped and who are working to achieve the release.
 
Citizens of Israel, I want to be clear – the war is continuing. The war is continuing. We will continue until we achieve all of our goals: Return all of the hostages, eliminate Hamas and ensure that on the day after Hamas, no element that supports terrorism, educates its children for terrorism, and pays terrorists or their families, will control Gaza. Gaza will no longer constitute a threat to Israel. We will restore security in both the south and the north. We are winning and will continue to fight until absolute victory. We are doing so thanks to the courage of our soldiers and thanks to the self-sacrifice of our sons and daughters, heroes of Israel. I always remember that this victory has a heavy price – our soldiers who gave their lives for us all, our heroes that fell to defend our home.
 
I spoke this evening with Avichai and Tali Barzani, whose son Dvir, a paratrooper, fell this week in the fighting in Gaza. Avichai is a veteran security man whom I have known for years. He told me that he wrote to his son Dvir: ‘When you go to fight Hamas, remember that behind you are the 1,400 Israeli citizens who were brutally murdered by a terrible enemy.’ Avichai and Tali asked me, as have all of the bereaved parents with whom I have spoken, to continue to the end, to continue until the absolute victory.
 
Citizens of Israel, I stand here this evening to tell you clearly: This is exactly what we will do.
 
Together we will fight and with God’s help, together we will win.”

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Below is the speech of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered at a press conference Wednesday Evening following announcements of a negotiated deal for the release of Israeli hostages currently being held by Hamas terrorists:

“Citizens of Israel, at the start of my remarks, I would like to speak to the families of the hostages, our brothers and sisters. Last night, I convened the Government in order to approve the first stage of the outline for returning the hostages. Since the start of the war, I have not stopped thinking about you, the families. I have met with you and have heard from you what you are enduring. I have heard from you about the continuing nightmare, the tribulations of uncertainty, the endless worrying. When I meet with you, you put the photos of your loved ones on your chests, on your hearts, and I and my colleagues see all the photos; they are a call to action.
 
Since the outbreak of the war, we have indeed been working relentlessly to bring them all back home. And when I say all of them – I mean all of them, including Oron, Hadar, Avra and Hisham.
 
We have clearly defined the goals of the war: Eliminate Hamas, free our hostages and ensure that on the day after Hamas, Gaza will no longer constitute a threat to Israel. We said that we would act to create the conditions for returning the hostages and we created them. What paved the way to the current outline is the combination of two main efforts. The first effort, is the massive, relentless military pressure that we are using against Hamas. I want to commend the IDF and the ISA for the immense work that they are doing to create this pressure. The second effort is the great diplomatic pressure that we are using for the release of our hostages. We conducted difficult negotiations; we fought to improve the outline. I have just spoken again with President Biden and thanked him for acting, as per my request, with the intermediaries to significantly improve the outline; such an improvement has been achieved.
 
This combination of the military and diplomatic efforts created the conditions for returning our hostages. I believe that this combination will also facilitate the release of additional hostages in the next stages. The outline that has been achieved does not include the release of murderers. It does include visits by Red Cross representatives to the hostages and the delivery of medicines to them. I heard that there is someone denying this. The Red Cross says that it has not heard; then here is the explicit clause: ‘The Red Cross will be allowed to visit the remaining hostages and provide them with needed medicine.’ I expect the Red Cross to do its work.
 
Citizens of Israel, as Prime Minister of Israel, I frequently face tough decisions, between a difficult choice and an even more difficult choice. It is especially so on the issue of the hostages. The effort to bring all of them home is ongoing and at this time we can achieve the release of infants and children, mothers and women, who have swords at their necks. This is the precept of redeeming captives which we have a moral obligation to carry out.
 
In the history of the State of Israel, we have released hostages in highly feasible military operations. We have done this despite the heavy price that we have had to pay. It happened at the Savoy Hotel, at Entebbe, on a SABENA jet, and in other cases. It has also happened in this war; several weeks ago, we freed the soldier Ori Megidish in a daring military action. But military operations are not always possible. Therefore, we are not waiting. We are utilizing every sliver of opportunity to release our hostages because returning them is a sacred task.
 
The IDF and all of the security services fully support the outline. They reiterated at yesterday’s Government meeting that the security of our forces will be assured during the days of the pause and that the intelligence effort will be maintained during these days. And the IDF will, at this time, be preparing for the continuation of the war.
 
This morning, the Government made a decision and I and my colleagues believe with all our hearts, that it was the correct decision. I thank my colleagues for the joint position – Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Minister Benny Gantz and the Government ministers, IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Herzi Halevi, Mossad Director David Barnea, ISA Director Ronen Bar, Maj.-Gen. (Ret.) Nitzan Alon, Brig.-Gen. (Ret.) Gal Hirsh and all those who have helped and who are working to achieve the release.
 
Citizens of Israel, I want to be clear – the war is continuing. The war is continuing. We will continue until we achieve all of our goals: Return all of the hostages, eliminate Hamas and ensure that on the day after Hamas, no element that supports terrorism, educates its children for terrorism, and pays terrorists or their families, will control Gaza. Gaza will no longer constitute a threat to Israel. We will restore security in both the south and the north. We are winning and will continue to fight until absolute victory. We are doing so thanks to the courage of our soldiers and thanks to the self-sacrifice of our sons and daughters, heroes of Israel. I always remember that this victory has a heavy price – our soldiers who gave their lives for us all, our heroes that fell to defend our home.
 
I spoke this evening with Avichai and Tali Barzani, whose son Dvir, a paratrooper, fell this week in the fighting in Gaza. Avichai is a veteran security man whom I have known for years. He told me that he wrote to his son Dvir: ‘When you go to fight Hamas, remember that behind you are the 1,400 Israeli citizens who were brutally murdered by a terrible enemy.’ Avichai and Tali asked me, as have all of the bereaved parents with whom I have spoken, to continue to the end, to continue until the absolute victory.
 
Citizens of Israel, I stand here this evening to tell you clearly: This is exactly what we will do.
 
Together we will fight and with God’s help, together we will win.”