Friday, May 24, 2024

Netanyahu says Israel paying ‘heavy price’

(BBC News) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the Gaza war has come at a “very heavy price” for his side.

The military says more than a dozen soldiers have been killed in the territory since Friday, bringing the total of the ground assault to 154.

Saturday was one of its deadliest days – but the Israeli PM there was “no choice” but to keep fighting.

Meanwhile, the health ministry in Gaza — run by Hamas — says another 166 people were killed in the last day.

More than 20,000 people have been killed – mostly women and children, and 54,000 injured in Gaza since October 7, the ministry says.

Remarking on the latest Israeli troop deaths, Netanyahu said: “This is a difficult morning, after a very difficult day of fighting in Gaza.”

But he said his forces would continue with “full force until the end,” reiterating goals of eliminating Hamas and ensuring the safe return of hostages held in Gaza.

“Let it be clear: this will be a long war,” he added.

The military’s 154th death was announced later that day: tank commander Maj Aryeh Rein.

The Israeli military said it had killed more than 8,000 Palestinian fighters during its campaign to date — in remarks quoted by the Reuters news agency.

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