Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu paid a visit on Christmas to Israeli troops in the northern Gaza Strip, where the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have engaged in heavy fighting in recent weeks, and are on the verge of complete control of the area.
Netanyahu comforted soldiers who had seen comrades fall in combat, telling them that their sacrifices would be redeemed by victory.
The following exchange between Netanyahu and the troops occurred (via Government Press Office translation):
Prime Minister Netanyahu to the soldiers:
“I am here with you in the northern Gaza Strip and I am extraordinarily impressed. Previously, I told your commanders, and you, as reservists, as soldiers – we are proud of you and rely on you. We see the determination and the desire to continue on until the end.”
Then I have two things to tell you: First, we will do everything to maintain your safety and your lives. While we want to pursue the mission, we want to safeguard you even more. That is the first – and most important – thing.
Second, we are not stopping. Whoever talks about stopping – there is no such thing. We are not stopping. The war will continue until the end, until we finish it, no less.
I know that you left your families and that your families support you. That is amazing. That is the power – the key to victory.”
“We left two of our friends here.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu:
“I know. Not a few, and dear friends. For this we are continuing. The testament is to continue.”
261st Brigade Commander Yehuda Wach:
“It is important that you came and it is important that they know that we will go wherever you tell us – we will win. Not ‘close’, not ‘more or less’ – until the end. We will win.”
Netanyahu has stressed that Israel intends to complete its goal of destroying the military and governing capacity of Hamas, despite sporadic negotiations toward a new round of hostage releases in exchange for pauses in the fighting and the release of Palestinian terror convicts from Israeli prisons.
Netanyahu also issued a Christmas message to the Christians of the world, thanking them for their support for Israel.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.