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Netanyahu says intense fighting against Hamas is ending but war to go on By Reuters

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that the phase of intense fighting against Hamas was coming to an end but that the war would not end until the Islamist group no longer controls the Gaza Strip.

Once the intense fighting is over in Gaza, Netanyahu said, it will allow Israel to deploy more forces along the northern border with Lebanon, where fighting has escalated with Iran-backed Hezbollah.

“After the intense phase is finished, we will have the possibility to move part of the forces north. And we will do this. First and foremost for defensive purposes. And secondly, to bring our (evacuated) residents home,” Netanyahu said in an interview with Israel’s Channel 14.

“If we can we will do this diplomatically. If not, we will do it another way. But we will bring (the residents) home,” he said.

Many Israeli towns near the border with Lebanon have been evacuated during the fighting.

Netanyahu also reiterated his rejection to the idea that the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority run Gaza in place of Hamas.




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