Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this evening, at the Kirya in Tel Aviv:
"Today I received a message from Neta, the mother of the late Yinon Tamir, a soldier in the Paratroop Brigade, who fell in the battles in Gaza. She wrote to me: 'So that we know that they did not fall in vain, destroy the evil.'
Neta, I would like to tell you and all of the bereaved families: Yinon and his heroic friends did not fall in vain. We will destroy the evil of Hamas.
In the last 48 hours, our soldiers have conducted battles in Khan Yunis, in which they eliminated dozens of terrorists. In the northern Gaza Strip, our soldiers have destroyed rocket launchers and eliminated dozens of additional terrorists. Also, in recent days, we have destroyed a major rocket production facility, and it is not the only one. Contrary to what is being said, the war is continuing on all fronts, and it will continue on all fronts – until all of the goals that we set are achieved.
This is my directive. This is the political leadership's directive to the military leadership. This is the directive of the Government of Israel to the IDF and all of the security services, and they are carrying out – and will carry out – their assignment.
To this end, we passed an immense war budget, which will enable the military and the security services to meet the goals of the war and achieve victory. Now I say this simply and with candor: Victory will yet take many long months, but we are determined to achieve it. And there is another 'but', a very difficult 'but': While our soldiers are giving their lives in order to complete the victory over Hamas, I hear other voices which are trying to weaken them. There are those in the studios who claim: 'Victory is impossible'. I utterly reject this.
Israel under my leadership will not compromise on less than total victory over Hamas, and we will win. I say this again, so that no one will be in doubt: We are striving for total victory, not just 'to strike Hamas' or 'to hurt Hamas', not 'another round with Hamas' but total victory over Hamas.
We will continue to fight will full force until we achieve all of our goals: Returning our hostages, and I say – only continued military pressure will lead to their release, eliminating Hamas and ensuring that Gaza never again constitutes a threat to Israel, that there will be no element in it that educates for terrorism, finances terrorism and sends terrorists against us.
Halting the war before our goals are achieved will harm Israel's security for generations. I tell you, citizens of Israel, we are not working just to ensure our security today – we are working to ensure our security for generations. Halting the war before the goals are achieved will broadcast a message of weakness and encourage our enemies to think that they can defeat us, and then the next massacre will be only a matter of time; therefore, we will not compromise on less than total victory.
Total victory requires eliminating the terrorist leaders and destroying Hamas's military and governing capabilities. Total victory requires returning our hostages home. Total victory requires that Gaza be demilitarized, under Israel's full security control, with Israeli control over everything that enters Gaza. These are also the fundamental conditions for 'the day after'. But I would like to emphasize: 'The day after' is the day after the elimination of Hamas, and therefore victory comes first of all. It will be achieved only if we stay focused on achieving victory, and on staying united behind our heroic soldiers who are giving their lives to achieve it.
We will yet have difficulties and challenges along the way, but after the terrible massacre of October 7, we have no other choice. This is a victory that we must achieve for the security of Israel, for our future and for true peace in our region.
I promise here before our soldiers, I promise before the bereaved families who have lost what is dearer to them than anything, and I promise before the families of the hostages – we will not stop. We will not finish the war before returning our loved ones home; we will not finish the war before total victory.
Together we will fight, and with G-d's help – together we will win."