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GAZA WAR

Israeli official says Gaza war to last until year's end

Israeli official says Gaza war to last until year's end

Palestinians fleeing with their belongings drive their vehicles in Khan Yunis city in the southern Gaza Strip on May 29, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas militant group. (Credit: Bashar Taleb/AFP)

A top Israeli security official said Wednesday the war against Hamas in Gaza could go on until the year's end to achieve the aim of destroying the Palestinian militant group.

"We may have another seven months of fighting to consolidate our success and achieve what we have defined as the destruction of Hamas's power and military capabilities," National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi said.

"Victory for us means destroying Hamas's military capabilities, bringing back all the hostages and ensuring that at the end of the war, there are no more threats from Gaza," he said.

"In other words no more Iranian-funded terrorist armies on our border," Hanegbi told public broadcaster Kan, speaking from Cyprus.

The Israeli official said discussions were underway over Gaza's post-war future.

"We are trying to plan what will happen after the war, so that the Palestinians will be responsible for their own lives," he said.

"We will be responsible for Israel's security but we don't want to rule in Gaza."

Nearly eight months into the deadliest Gaza war, Israel is facing mounting international calls to end the fighting, as well as cases before two Netherlands-based international courts.

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has remained steadfast in his vow to "eliminate" Hamas in response to the group's unprecedented attack on October 7, which resulted in the deaths of 1,189 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures.

Militants also took 252 hostages, 121 of whom remain in Gaza, including 37 the army says are dead.

Israel's retaliatory offensive has killed at least 36,171 people in Gaza, mostly civilians, according to the territory's health ministry.


A top Israeli security official said Wednesday the war against Hamas in Gaza could go on until the year's end to achieve the aim of destroying the Palestinian militant group.

"We may have another seven months of fighting to consolidate our success and achieve what we have defined as the destruction of Hamas's power and military capabilities," National...