The death toll in Gaza has surpassed 10,000 people, the Hamas-run health ministry said, including more than 4,000 children…reports Asian Lite News
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that his country will take “overall responsibility” of Gaza’s security for an indefinite period after its war with Hamas ends.
“Israel will, for an indefinite period, will have the overall security responsibility,” he said in a television interview with ABC News broadcast on Monday.
“When we don’t have that security responsibility, what we have is the eruption of Hamas terror on a scale that we couldn’t imagine,” he added.
The Israeli military has relentlessly attacked Gaza by air, land and sea since October 7, when Hamas militants launched a cross-border attack that left 1,400 dead in Israel, most of them civilians, according to Israeli authorities, and over 240 hostages taken.
The death toll in Gaza has surpassed 10,000 people, the Hamas-run health ministry said Monday, including more than 4,000 children.
In Monday’s interview, Netanyahu disputed the health ministry’s figures, which he said likely included “several thousand” Palestinian combatants.
Despite growing calls for a cease-fire from UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and other world leaders, Netanyahu said he did not support one.
“There will be no cease-fire — general cease-fire — in Gaza without the release of our hostages,” he said.
“As far as tactical, little pauses — an hour here, an hour there — we’ve had them before,” he said.
Israel may agree to pauses to let humanitarian goods into Gaza, or to allow for hostages to leave the besieged Palestinian territory, he added.
Asked if he should take any responsibility for the October 7 attack, Netanyahu said “of course.”
“It’s not a question and it’s got to be resolved after the war,” he said, adding that his government had “clearly” not met its obligation to protect its people.
US calls to avoid ‘hateful rhetoric’
Meanwhile, the US has called a suggestion by an Israeli junior minister of dropping an atomic bomb on Gaza “unacceptable” and urged all sides to avoid “hateful rhetoric.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office on Sunday suspended Heritage Minister Amichay Eliyahu from government meetings until further notice, saying that Israel wanted to spare non-combatants in its bombardment of Gaza in response to Hamas attacks.
“Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Israeli government have repudiated those comments which we also found as wholly unacceptable,” State Department spokesman Vedant Patel told reporters.
“We continue to believe that it is important for all sides of this conflict to refrain from hateful rhetoric that is going to further incite tensions,” he said.
Eliyahu in an interview with Israel’s Kol Barama radio had said he was not entirely satisfied with the scale of Israel’s retaliation.
When the interviewer asked whether he advocated dropping “some kind of atomic bomb” on Gaza “to kill everyone,” Eliyahu replied: “That’s one option.”
Eliyahu later said his statement was “metaphorical.” Israel is widely known to have nuclear weapons but has never admitted so.
The remarks prompted outrage in the Arab world with Saudi Arabia — which before the crisis had been in preliminary talks to recognize Israel — criticizing the Netanyahu government for not dismissing Eliyahu.
‘Civilian casualties in Gaza in the thousands’
The Pentagon put the number of civilians killed in Gaza in the thousands, but did not provide a specific number. “As it related to civilian casualties in Gaza … we know the numbers are in the thousands,” Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder said.
The Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip said on Monday the death toll from Israeli bombardment of the Palestinian territory had surpassed 10,000, nearly one month after the start of the war.
The toll of 10,022 deaths was announced in a press conference in Gaza by ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qidreh.
He said at least 292 Palestinians were killed overnight from Sunday into Monday in intense bombardments by the Israeli army, which he accused of “perpetrating 19 massacres in the last hours.”
The validity of the numbers published by the ministry had been called into question by President Joe Biden. To prove the credibility of their figures, on Oct. 26, the Health Ministry published a list of nearly 7,000 names, all people whom it said had been killed in the war up to that point.