Israel War Cabinet minister: War on Gaza to last ‘many years’ – Middle East Monitor

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Israeli War Cabinet minister and former chief of staff of the Israeli army, Gadi Eisenkot, has warned that the Hamas movement is renewing its strength and fighting the movement will continue for many years which necessitates reaching a prisoner swap deal now.

This came during his briefing to members of the Foreign Affairs and Security Committee in the Knesset, in a “closed discussion” yesterday, according to local media.

Eizenkot reiterated that the correct course of action in the Gaza Strip “is to reach the end of fighting in Rafah and at the same time move forward along the path of a hostage deal, in which we will cease fire for 42 days or double that.”

“There is no [trade-off] between releasing prisoners in exchange for ending the war,” he further said, noting that negotiating a deal involving prisoners of war is crucial from a strategic standpoint.

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“As we stopped in November for a short break, we stop for 42 days. And even if we need more than that, it does not mean we will end the fighting,” he added

Eizenkot explained that halting the fighting would allow the release of the hostages, adding that “it’s not just soldiers, but civilians who have been abandoned and Israel has an obligation to return them.”

“There is a consensus in the War Cabinet on the need to release the kidnapped,” he said, adding that the “expanded cabinet” is “disassembled and does not perform its role.”

READ: Israel’s Netanyahu ‘strongly opposes’ ending war on Gaza

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