By Najib Jobain, Samy Magcy | Associated Press
KHAN YUNIS, Gaza Strip — Israel will take “overall security responsibility” in Gaza indefinitely after its war with Hamas, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, the clearest indication yet that Israel plans to maintain control over the coastal enclave one month into a conflict that has claimed thousands of lives and leveled whole swaths of the territory.
In an interview with ABC News that aired late Monday, Netanyahu expressed openness to “little pauses” in the fighting to facilitate the delivery of aid to Gaza or the release of some of the more than 240 hostages seized by Hamas in its Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel, which triggered the war.
But he ruled out any general cease-fire without the release of all the hostages, and the White House said there was no agreement on President Biden’s call for a broader humanitarian pause after a phone call between the two leaders.
The war has come at a staggering cost. Airstrikes have reduced entire city blocks to rubble, and around 70% of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have fled their homes, with many heeding Israeli orders to head to the southern part of the besieged territory, which is also being bombed.
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