Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and war cabinet member Benny Gantz gave a press briefing at the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv on Saturday evening.
During the briefing, the three leaders rejected international criticism against Israel and the pressure to agree to a ceasefire.
Netanyahu appeared to directly respond to world leaders like as French President Emmanuel Macron, who said in a BBC interview last week: “There is no justification for Israel to attack civilians.”
Calling for a ceasefire, Macron said, “It’s impossible to explain – we want to fight against terrorism by killing innocent people.”
Netanyahu said in his remarks that many world leaders had accepted his invitation to come to Israel and had expressed support for the nation in its fight against Hamas. While support for Israel is important, he said, it does not mean there will not be disagreements.
The prime minister encouraged the global leaders not to give in to pressure against Israel.
“It also happens because in some of these countries there are minorities that are pressuring their leaders. I tell them: 'Do not give in to the pressure,'” Netanyahu urged. “Our war is also your war. We must win this war for us but also for you.”
He also stated clearly: “No international pressure, or reviling of IDF soldiers and our state will change our faith in the justice of our cause and in our right and our obligation to defend ourselves.”
The prime minister reiterated his statement that there would be no ceasefire without the release of the hostages being held in Gaza by Hamas.
Netanyahu noted the 3,500-year history of the Jewish people, telling Israeli citizens: “The great heritage that we all represent gives us the strength to stand steadfast to the world if necessary.”
Gallant also called out world leaders who have been putting pressure on Israel to agree to a ceasefire before its objectives are met.
“I would also like to address these questions to some world leaders – I hear some of them [speaking publicly] and I ask myself and I ask of them – 'How do you find the courage to preach at us in the middle of a war?'” Gallant asked.
The defense minister referred to the 1,500 Israelis killed or kidnapped and stated that Israel will defend its citizens.
“I want to say to some of these European leaders who criticize us: for the State of Israel and the people of Israel, this is the year 2023 and not the year 1943, and we have the ability and the duty to defend ourselves on our own, and that is exactly what we will do.”
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.