Israel's Ambassador: Our Goal is to Destroy Hamas - There Can't Be a Ceasefire

Hamas

"There cannot be a ceasefire with an enemy like Hamas; there can be a temporary cessation of hostilities for humanitarian aid or the release of hostages, but there cannot be a ceasefire, just as there was not with the Islamic State," emphasised Israel's ambassador to Greece, Noam Katz, at the 7th Thessaloniki Summit.

"We will go after Hamas; the war will not end soon; we are not talking about days, but months," Mr. Katz pointed out.

Israel's ambassador referred to Hamas's bloody attack in early October on more than thirty communities in Israel, with civilian casualties and hostage-taking, and described Hamas as a "terrorist organisation" that seeks to destroy Israel.

“This attack shows the nature of the enemy. Hamas was founded in 1987 to prevent any possibility of peace," said Mr Katz, and went on to say that "they want to destroy the state of Israel; that's the idea they've gone through during the seventeen years they've been dictating Gaza, in from the kindergarten, through the mosque..."

Mr Katz said Israel's goal is to disorganise and dismantle Hamas, "totally dismantle" it and its political and military arms, as well as free the hostages and secure its borders. He also referred to Israel's perspective on post-war governance in the Gaza Strip if its goals are achieved.

"Neither Hamas nor Israel will govern Gaza. It will be run by the Palestinians, the righteous Palestinians," emphasised Mr Katz and noted that his country does not consider the Palestinian people an enemy but instead seeks to "liberate" them from Hamas so that there is hope for Peace.

"Every loss, every civilian, every child is a tragedy. A tragedy, created by Hamas itself," said Mr Katz, and after adding that Hamas is using Palestinian civilians as human shields, he went on to stress that "Israel is complying with International Law in the conflicts in the Gaza Strip, Hamas has prevented these people from leaving...”

Regarding Al Shifa Hospital, the ambassador claimed that after its capture, “not a single bullet fell inside” and that Israeli soldiers made sure to evacuate hospital staff safely.

Mr Katz thanked the EU and the US, but also Greece for their stance regarding the recognition of Israel's right to defend itself against the terrorist attacks of Hamas and emphasised that Israel wanted and wants the "strengthening " of its relations with all the states of the wider region of the Middle East. He accused Iran, however, of being a "destabiliser" of the wider region for its support of Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Finally, Mr. Katz underlined that his country's relations with Greece are "strong and strategic" and that under other circumstances, he would like to speak at the conference about the prospects for cooperation in energy and other fields with Greece and Cyprus and in the common development perspective together with other countries in the region and wished to be able to do this at the next Thessaloniki Summit. "Greece is interested in the stability of the places in the Middle East," concluded the ambassador of Israel.

READ MORE: US report highlights Turkey’s “systemic discrimination” against the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.

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