Netanyahu: We're on the Same Page with the U.S. about Evacuating Palestinian Civilians from Rafah

(CBS News) Margaret Brennan - On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told CBS' "Face the Nation": "Understand that unless we have total victory, we can't have peace. We can't leave Hamas in place. We can't leave a quarter of Hamas battalions in Rafah and say, well, that's fine, they'll be there." "It's like saying a quarter of ISIS will be left and with a defined territory, because you know, they will reconstitute themselves immediately. So total victory is important to achieve the war goal of destroying Hamas, releasing the hostages, and ensuring that Gaza doesn't pose a threat. But I think also this is essential for any future peaceful Middle East." "Once we begin the Rafah operation, the intense phase of the fighting is weeks away from completion....We can't leave the last Hamas stronghold without taking care of it. Obviously, we have to do it. But understand, too, that I've asked the army to submit to me a double plan, first to enable the evacuation of the Palestinian civilians in Gaza, and, obviously, second, to destroy the remaining Hamas battalions....Total victory is within reach. Not months away, weeks away once we begin the operation." "We're on the same page with the U.S. on this, because that's how we do it. The reason you have that population in Rafah is because we actually cleared them away from the other combat zones that we had, that's why they're there. So now there's room for them to go north of Rafah, to the places that we've already finished fighting in....Moving civilians out of an area that is going to be a combat zone is...a good thing, and that's what Israel is going to do." "A lot of things that we were told by the best of friends initially, turned out not to be true. They said you can't enter the ground war without having enormous complications. They said you cannot enter Gaza City, you can't go into the tunnels, it will be a terrible bloodbath. All of that turned out to be not true." "What would America do if you faced the equivalent of 20 9/11s, 50,000 Americans slaughtered in one day, 10,000 Americans, including mothers and children, held hostage? Would you not be doing what Israel is doing? You'd be doing a hell of a lot more. And nearly all Americans that I talk to say that."

2024-02-26 00:00:00

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