Israel Will Keep Fighting Hamas ‘Until The End,’ Netanyahu Says

(AP) – Israel will keep fighting Hamas despite international calls for a cease-fire, its prime minister said, after at least nine Israeli soldiers were killed in an ambush in one of the deadliest single attacks that Palestinian militants have carried out since the ground invasion of Gaza began.

“We are continuing until the end, there is no question,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said late Wednesday. “I say this even given the great pain and the international pressure. Nothing will stop us.”

Heavy fighting has raged for days in Shijaiyah and other areas in and around eastern Gaza City that were encircled earlier in the war. Tens of thousands of people remain in the north despite repeated evacuation orders, saying they don’t feel that anywhere in Gaza is safe or fear they may never return to their homes.

Israel has drawn international outrage and rare criticism from the United States over the killing of civilians. More than 18,400 Palestinians have been killed, according to the Health Ministry in the Hamas-controlled territory, which does not differentiate between civilian and combatant deaths. Israel says 113 of its soldiers have died in its ground offensive after Hamas raided southern Israel on October 7, killing about 1,200 people — mostly civilians — and taking about 240 hostages.