Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Newsmax’s Greta Van Susteren on Wednesday that the pause in fighting in Gaza to release hostages will not change his country’s goal of eliminating Hamas.

   Netanyahu, in an exclusive interview conducted in Israel, said his country’s forces remain focused on eliminating Hamas and its “cult of murder,” despite an agreement in which 50 Israeli hostages are to be freed in exchange for 150 Palestinian prisoners during a four-day pause in fighting.

   “We are working to get all our hostages out. We think that there is a possibility of getting more than 50 on this effort, but I don’t want to give out more information,” Netanyahu said during” The Record with Greta Van Susteren.”

   “We said that if they bring more, they’ll receive additional days of a lull. But I want to make sure that everybody understands we’re committed to fighting this war to the end, because Hamas has said, officially, that they’ll do it again and again and again.”

   Later during the interview, Netanyahu added: “Just as we had to destroy the Nazis, we had to destroy al-Qaida, we had to destroy Daesh. Otherwise, the hatred spreads everywhere. We have to destroy Hamas.”

   Hamas fighters took hostages to Gaza during their attack on southern Israel on Oct. 7. More than 1,200 Israelis were killed in the massacre.

   “This is a crazy theological cult, you know? They’re like a cult of murder,” Netanyahu said of Hamas. “They glorify death. They came in and murdered children in front of their parents, and parents in front of their children. They decapitated women, burnt babies alive, shot at youngsters at a music festival. They just perpetrated the worst savagery on the Jewish people since the Holocaust.

   “So they’re a cult of death. And this cult thinks that they’ll destroy the state of Israel, conquer the Middle East, proceed to Europe, and then proceed to you [the U.S.].”

   Netanyahu said that his country’s Oct. 7 suffering equaled “20 9/11s.”

   “We suffered proportionately 20 9/11s, 20. It’s like 50,000 Americans slaughtered in one day,” he said, “10,000 Americans held hostage, including a 10-month-old baby. A baby [who] hasn’t even walked, hasn’t started to talk. He is being held hostage. What kind of people hold a 10-month-old baby hostage? Monsters.

   “We have to destroy this monstrosity for our common future.”

   Susteren asked the prime minister why Hamas would agree to release hostages.

   “Because they’re under tremendous pressure,” Netanyahu said. “We got this pause to get our hostages out because Hamas has been facing this tremendous military pressure by the Israeli army, and also political pressure. And I’m very grateful to President [Joe] Biden, who responded to my request to put additional pressure through the Qataris on Hamas.

   “So, we actually increased the number of hostages that are coming out and reduced the number of days of the ceasefire. That’s important. They’re under the gun, literally. That’s why they stopped.”

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