Minister Gideon Sa'ar on Monday spoke to 103 FM Radio about the ongoing war with Hamas and the 240 hostages held captive in Gaza.
"We are fighting a stubborn enemy, who is determined to fight," Sa'ar told the radio station. "The IDF has made very impressive achievements, including in Hamas' systems, including harming the tunnel system. At this point, the hit is only partial, and the battle isn't really decided. I think that the main part is still ahead of us, and we need calm heads, patience, and determination."
"We are in the second stage," he added. "But after the aerial strike, we are in the stage of ground coordination, within Gaza City itself. We are at the stage of very difficult battles, and this is not after defeating them, it is ongoing. I say clearly: There are a large number of terrorists killed, and hits on Hamas' systems. The battle is still at its peak."
Sa'ar also said that Israel is "before a long battle, and it could be that its characteristics will change over its course. We must wage this battle until we achieve the goals we have set. We cannot stop the war before we have achieved the goals. We joined [the government] for the benefit of the country, and that was the right decision."
When asked about the hostages, Sa'ar said, "Right now there is no better alternative on this matter. There are always negotiations ongoing. [Hamas leader Yahya] Sinwar's approach is that the hostages are a negotiating chip. He has no desire to free them right now, and I don't see, even when looking at this goal, an alternative to increasing the military pressure in order to bring about a change in Sinwar's approach."
"We are committed to the goal of bringing them home. There is no intention of compromising on this goal, but at the same time, we need to understand who we are fighting against," he concluded.