Israeli government spokesperson Tal Heinrich told Newsmax on Thursday that “a pause, as in a cease-fire,” in the Israel-Hamas war is “not negotiable right now.”
“Israel will continue operating in Gaza, including our expanded ground operation that is ongoing, as long as it takes to achieve the goal of dismantling Hamas because we’re not going to let them get away with what they did,” Heinrich said during an appearance on Newsmax’s “American Agenda.”
“They’re still firing at us. Keep in mind: 9,000 rockets 26 days after they massacred 1,400 Israelis and injured more than 5,500. So we’re not going to let them get away with it. They’re going to pay for it, because we can no longer live like that.”
Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to visit Israel and Jordan beginning on Friday to push for the evacuation of more foreigners from Gaza and the entry of more humanitarian aid to the territory. He is also expected to stress the importance of protecting civilians and press Israel on curbing violence against Palestinians committed by Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank.
On Wednesday, President Joe Biden said that more work needs to be done to “significantly step up the flow of critical humanitarian assistance into Gaza.”
Heinrich said that there have been “humanitarian pauses and cessation of activity in the south” two times, when Hamas released two pairs of women hostages.
“We are waiting to see on them releasing more hostages,” she said. “We’re calling on them to unconditionally and unequivocally and immediately do so, and then we will be able to continue talking about further pauses that will facilitate the exit of more hostages.
“But in what pertains to humanitarian aid that goes to the Palestinians, we have allowed in — and you just reported — dozens of trucks with humanitarian aid that includes medical supplies and water and food that is arriving from the Rafah border crossing in the south between Gaza and Egypt to the safer havens that we have designated for Palestinian civilians in the areas of the southwest,” she said.
Heinrich added that the Israeli government has “called on them to evacuate there” and that approximately 900,000 Palestinians “have already evacuated there” out of a northern Gaza population of 1.1 million.
“Humanitarian aid is something that we also are coordinating with the international counterparts and international organizations and the United Nations, and humanitarian aid is coming in,” she said.