‘We fight until victory,’ Netanyahu vows on 100th day of Gaza war

President Herzog says Hamas grossly underestimated Israelis; one million bells to ring worldwide in commemoration of Oct. 7 victims.

By Ryan Jones |
Israelis mark 100 days of war against Hamas, and 100 days of captivity for 136 Israelis still held in Gaza. Photo by Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90

The war in Gaza is not over, and it won’t be over until Israel achieves victory, vowed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as Israel on Sunday marked 100 days since the Palestinian terrorist invasion of October 7, 2023.

“Today, we mark 100 days of the war, 100 days since the terrible day on which our citizens were massacred and taken hostage. We are continuing the war until the end—until total victory, until we achieve all of our goals: eliminating Hamas, returning all of our hostages and ensuring that Gaza will never again constitute a threat to Israel,” said Netanyahu in a statement late Saturday night (remember, Hebrew days begin at sundown).

As Bibi stressed, victory for Israel means the return of every hostage taken by the Palestinians on October 7 (136 remain in Gaza) and the elimination of Hamas as a military and terrorist threat. Gaza is a large and densely-population area, and there is much work left to be done before those goals are achieved.

He went on to condemn South Africa’s charges of genocide against Israel at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, and said the legal farce taking place there would not hinder the war effort.

“The State of Israel, the IDF and our security services are fighting a moral and just war that is without parallel, against the Hamas monsters, the new Nazis. This international campaign of denigration will not weaken either our hand or our determination to fight until the end, because something has changed in the history of our people,” he continued.

Israelis hardly need any convincing, and the vast majority of the nation remains united behind the war effort. But doubt has begun to creep in as to whether or not the political echelon has what it takes to stay the court. Netanyahu sought to put those concerns to bed.

“Citizens of Israel, we are on the path to victory. We will not stop until we achieve victory. I know that there are those who doubt this—I am not among them. I hear your call and know that you, citizens of Israel, are not among them either. We are doing this together to the end. I believe in our people, in our soldiers and commanders, and I believe that after the massacre of Oct. 7, we will not compromise on anything less than total victory,” said the prime minister. “I say this, on your behalf, to every world leader who I speak with—we will not compromise, and we will not stop. We are continuing until victory; we have no other choice.”

President Isaac Herzog explains to visiting US Secretary of State Antony Blinken why Israel will not stop until the war is won. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90

The enemy underestimated us

In an op-ed featured on numerous Israeli news websites, President Isaac Herzog marked 100 days of war by noting that the enemy has grossly underestimated the Jewish state.

Hamas and the rest of the Iranian-controlled “axis of resistance” believed Israeli society had become soft in its prosperity and too embroiled in internal debate to effectively defend itself. And the initial terrorist successes of October 7 only served to bolster that perception.

But the weeks that followed have revealed a very different reality.

Even in this darkest of hours, wrote Herzog, “we [have] witnessed the strength, courage, resilience, and compassion that define us as a people. We made a grave and painful mistake by not being ready. But the greatest mistake is that of the enemy.

“The enemy, who’s ‘great heroes’ indiscriminately murdered, massacred, violated, and slaughtered infants, elderly, girls, boys, burned homes with people inside, and committed the worst crimes against humanity. An enemy for whom Hitler’s playbook, Mein Kampf, has pride of place in their homes, whose children’s summer camps were centers of murderous brainwashing, and blind hatred. An enemy who thinks he knows us and belittles the bravery of our sons and daughters until he sees with his own eyes how ‘a people rise like a lioness and lift itself like a lion,'” continued the president, quoting Numbers 23:24.

Of particular concern was whether or not the younger generation, with their faces constantly on their phone screens, had what it takes to fight a real war. Like many others, Herzog said he was inspired when he saw them go into action:

“We saw how the ‘TikTok generation’ emerged as a generation of historic strength, whose bravery will be etched in the annals of Israeli history. I met with the fighters and commanders, the leaders on the front – made of steel, eager to engage the enemy, with the oath of ‘never again.'”

Jewish men and boys pray during a 24-hour rally for hostages marking 100 days since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas, at “Hostage Square” in Tel Aviv, early on January 14, 2024. Photo by Tomer Neuberg/Flash90

One million bells

Sunday marks not only 100 days of war against the Hamas-led Palestinian terrorist machine, but also 100 days that some 136 Israelis have been held captive in the Gaza Strip. Over 200 hostages were taken on October 7, but 105 were released in a series of temporary ceasefire agreements in late November.

To maintain awareness of this tragic situation, one million bells ring around the world today.

What began as a private initiative was quickly adopted by the Israeli Foreign Ministry, the World Zionist Organization and numerous Jewish, Christian and other organizations around the world.

“One million bells may shake the world, herald hope and mark a line between humanity and evil. The 7th of October, 2023, must be remembered globally as a defining moment against terror,” Dr. Inon Schenker, the initiator of the project, told JNS.

Churches, hotels, stock exchanges, fire stations, schools and public buildings will ring their bells for 60 seconds at 4 p.m. Israel time to commemorate the victims of October 7, and to demand that those still held in terrorist captivity be release immediately.

Indeed, Israel has stressed more than once that the war would come to an immediate end if Hamas surrendered and freed all the hostages.

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