Netanyahu says ‘close to eliminating Hamas’ as troop casualties mount

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed Monday that he was close to eliminating Hamas, the rulers of the war-ravaged Gaza strip.

Netanyahu has repeatedly said that the fighting will only stop with the defeat of the resistance group.

But he was contradicted by his army spokesman who recently called the elimination Hamas an impossibility.

“I returned yesterday from a tour of the Gaza Division. I saw great achievements of fighting that is being carried out in Rafah. We are nearing to the end of the elimination phase of Hamas’s terrorist army. There will be a continuation of hitting its remnants,” said Netanyahu while speaking to cadet soldiers.

Opposition to the war among the Israeli public has been growing.

The army has only rescued a handful of hostages after after nine months of fighting amid mounting soldier casualities.

674 Israeli troops have been killed in Gaza since October with over 2,000 injured.

Despite declaring Hamas defeated in many areas, Israeli troops have been forced to return to face off with Hamas soldiers in the same neighborhoods previously declared captured from Hamas.

The group has also managed to launch rockets into southern Israel despite Israeli claims that its military capacity has been degraded.

Israel has killed more than 37,700 people in Gaza since last October. The International Court of Justice concluded in a preliminary ruling in January that Israel was plausibly committing genocide.