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Sunday, July 21, 2024

America is ‘next’ if Israel loses war – Netanyahu

Israel’s PM declared that there is “no substitute” for “total victory” in Gaza

Islamist militants will pose a threat to the United States and Europe if Israel loses its current war with Hamas, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has claimed, saying Western states would be next in line should his country fail.

While the prime minister acknowledged that Washington had been very supportive of Israel’s military action in Gaza, he rejected any calls for a ceasefire, insisting it would amount to a surrender to Hamas.

Read more: Gaza’s largest hospital Al Shifa ‘not functioning’ amid Israeli assault

Netanyahu implored Israel’s allies for support during a sit-down with Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Monday, stating “We have to win not only for our sake, but for the sake of the Middle East,” as well as “for the sake of our Arab neighbors” and the world at large.

“We have to win to protect Israel. We have to win to safeguard the Middle East. We have to win for the sake of the civilized world. That’s the battle we’re fighting, and it’s being waged right now. There is no substitute for that victory,” he continued, adding “If we don’t win now, then Europe is next and you’re next.”

Read more: Israel-Hamas conflict dents demand for global air travel

Insisting that “our fight is your fight,” the PM went on to allege that an “axis of terror” exists between Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen and the Iranian government, claiming Tehran’s “minions” seek to “bring the Middle East [and] the world back to the Dark Ages.”

“On the other side stands Israel, the modern Arab states, of course the United States, all the forces that want to see peace, prosperity for the Middle East and for the world,” Netanyahu added.

US officials have been reluctant to directly call for a ceasefire, instead proposing shorter “humanitarian pauses” to allow aid to enter the besieged Palestinian enclave. However, as the death toll mounts in Gaza, some administration officials have urged restraint from Israeli forces, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently lamenting that “far too many” Palestinians had died in Israel’s bombing campaign.

On October 7, Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel, killing some 1,200 people and taking 240 more hostage, according to Israeli officials. In response, Netanyahu declared war on the Palestinian militant group, launching massive air strikes and a ground operation in Gaza. Palestinian officials say the death toll on their side has exceeded 11,000 so far.