'We won't live with Hamas': Fragile four-day truce between Israel and Hamas is 'just a pause', insists Netanyahu adviser

24 November 2023, 08:09

Israel and Hamas have started a four-day truce
Israel and Hamas have started a four-day truce. Picture: Alamy/LBC

By Emma Soteriou

The four-day truce between Israel and Hamas is "just a pause" and Israel "won't live with Hamas", a senior adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said.

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The halt in fighting began at 7am local time (5am GMT) on Friday and is to last at least four days, according to Qatari officials.

The Gulf state, which has been acting as a mediator in the Gaza war, said 13 people being held by Hamas will be released to begin with.

Among the 50 hostages the group is expected to eventually release are elderly women and children. The first group will be handed over to the Red Cross at 4pm and families will be put in the same groups as each other.

Majid al-Ansari, a spokesman for Qatar's foreign ministry, said the priority was to get "women and children out of harm's way as soon as possible". Hamas took about 240 people in its October 7 attack.

Read more: 'I've seen things I will never forget': David Cameron visits Israel as four-day truce with Hamas delayed

Qatar said it hoped the truce would hold out longer than the original four-day agreement.

But Mark Regev, senior adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast that it was "just a pause".

'It's just a pause': Netanyahu's Senior Advisor says humanitarian pause is not the end of conflict

He continued: "In Israel, we made a decision because we refuse to live with this Hamas-controlled terror enclave on our southern border. That’s the bottom line.

"For too long Israeli parents have had to live in fear of terrorists crossing the frontier and butchering their children. No longer.

"We won't live with Hamas - to live with Hamas is to live in constant terror. They say so.

"They say they'd do the October 7 massacre again, again and again and we taken them at their word on that issue.

"This will only end when Hamas no longer controls the Gaza Strip and no longer has the capability to inflict the sort of massacre on our people that they did on October 7."

Israel's invasion of Gaza has seen to it push into Gaza city in the north
Israel's invasion of Gaza has seen to it push into Gaza city in the north. Picture: Getty

Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday he wants to "continue with the goals of the war and we will eradicate Hamas".

Western allies of Israel, including the UK, have rejected calls for a total ceasefire and endorsed its bid to take action after the October 7 massacre.

Read more: Gary Lineker sparks fresh impartiality row after sharing video of professor who accuses Israel of 'genocide'

Hamas's health ministry in Gaza has claimed more than 14,000 people have been killed since Israel launched Operation Iron Swords.

Central to the campaign is the al-Shifa hospital, targeted by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) earlier in the campaign as they said it was part of Hamas's network in Gaza.

Gaza has been pummelled in Israel's retaliation for the October 7 massacre
Gaza has been pummelled in Israel's retaliation for the October 7 massacre. Picture: Getty

Soldiers have taken away the hospital's director for questioning after capturing it in the ground assault, which has focused on Gaza city in the north of the strip.

Meanwhile, David Cameron visited Israel on Thursday as he met Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog.

He said there is "never any excuse for this sort of hostage-taking" and called for Hamas to release all of its captives, including British nationals.

He recalled how he had to endure seeing Brits taken hostage in Syria during his time in No10, with many losing their lives "in the most gruesome, terrible fashion".

"There is no hope for peace between Israel and the Palestinians and between Israel and the Arab countries if we do not eradicate this murderous movement, which threatens the future of all of us," the peer said of Hamas.

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