The three members of Israel’s war cabinet gave a press conference on Wednesday night, the night before the hostage release deal and ceasefire, which was then delayed, was supposed to go into effect.
In their statements, and especially during their answers to media questions, the three ministers struck an unusually harsh and threatening tone in their statements toward Hamas terror group leaders and the Lebanese terror organization Hezbollah.
“There is no commitment in the agreement not to act against the leaders of Hamas, whoever they are, during the ceasefire … such a clause does not exist,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, after being asked if Israel would act against them if the chance presented itself.
“I instructed the Mossad to act against the Hamas leaders,” Netanyahu said regarding Hamas leaders living outside the Gaza Strip,
Many of the Hamas’ top leaders, including Ismail Haniyeh, are living in Qatar, one of the main mediators of the hostage exchange deal.
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant agreed with the sentiment, stressing, “They are living on borrowed time,” and calling them “dead men walking.”
“The struggle is worldwide: From gunmen in the field to those who are enjoying luxury jets while their emissaries are acting against women and children — they are destined to die,” he warned.
Gallant also reiterated the government’s stance that the war would continue after the hostage exchange.
“I, the IDF, the Shin Bet and the [entire] defense establishment, are committed to completing this war until we achieve our goals. Until we destroy Hamas and bring home the hostages.”
In his address, war cabinet member and government minister Benny Gantz threatened Hezbollah, which continued its daily attacks after indicating that it would join the four-day ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.
“You should know that what is happening now in northern Gaza can also happen in southern Lebanon, what happened to Gaza can happen to Beirut,” he warned.
He also addressed Hezbollah’s patron, the Islamic Iranian ayatollah regime.
“We are aware of Iran's attempts to challenge us - no damage to Israel's border will go unanswered. IDF soldiers are fighting bravely, tens of thousands of soldiers are deployed throughout the country and its borders. We are all strengthening them, we are preparing for the continuation of the war.”
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.