Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu has defied calls for a ceasefire in Gaza by Pope Francis and Middle Eastern leaders, as Gaza City is circled by the Israeli military after another night of heavy bombings by the Israel Defense Forces, IDF.
The IDF carried on its bombardment campaign, as the Israeli PM told IDF troops at the Ramon Air Force base in southern Israel that war would only stop when Hamas was completely destroyed.
‘Our enemies misjudged us. There will be no ceasefire without the return of the hostages,’ Netanyahu said.
‘This should be completely removed from the lexicon. We say this to our friends and to our enemies. We will simply continue until we defeat them. We have no alternative.’
The hard-line rhetoric comes as world leaders, including direct neighbours, pleaded with the 74-year-old leader to stop the incessant bombing of the enclave.
Pope Francis called for humanitarian aid and help for injured Gazans in order to ease the ‘very grave’ situation.
‘I keep thinking about the grave situation in Palestine and Israel where many people have lost their life. I pray you to stop in the name of god, cease the fire,’ he said, speaking to crowds in St Peter’s Square after his weekly Angelus prayer on Sunday.
‘I hope that all will be done to avoid the conflict from widening, that the injured will be rescued and aid will arrive to the population of Gaza, where the humanitarian situation is very grave,’ he added.
Meanwhile Ayman Safadi, the foreign minister of Jordan, which shares a border with Israel, lamented that ‘Israel is losing its humanity in this war’ after airstrikes struck two central Gaza refugee camps, allegedly killing at least 53 people and wounding dozens more.
‘This madness cannot continue and this war has to stop,’ Safadi told Sky News.
‘Nobody is benefiting, on the contrary everybody is losing.’
The Israel Defence Force says it has already ‘fully encircled Gaza City’ and is carrying out ‘widespread strikes on terror infrastructure’ below and above ground after revealing what they say is more evidence of Hamas’s ‘City of Terror’ tunnel network.Share this story to friends